Chicago Cubs: Theo Epstein whiffed last winter – and it might not matter

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: The pitching is there – it just needs to perform

Most teams would peek at the Cubs starting rotation in a state of envy. You’ve got three-time World Series champion and five-time All-Star Jon Lester at the helm. His last time out, he turned in his best outing of the second half which, hopefully, means he’s back on-track.

Then, midseason pick-up Cole Hamels follows. This guy has been the best pitcher in baseball since joining the North Siders, matching what Justin Verlander did in his first four Astros starts a year ago blow-for-blow. Given the low-level return Chicago gave up to land him, this deal could prove to be a steal by season’s end.

And, then, you have the duo of Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana. We all know what each of these guys is capable of. As has been the case with the Cubs, as a whole, they just need to go out and execute. 

But heading into a postseason series with some combination of Lester, Hendricks and Hamels with Quintana waiting in the wings? The Cubs could certainly be worse off. For now, it’s just a matter of getting to October.

Next. Who do the Cubs turn to with Montgomery sidelined?. dark

With Mike Montgomery sidelined and no clear replacement given Chatwood’s struggles, that’ easier said than done. But if the ‘Big Three’ step up and pitch well down the stretch, no one is going to be talking about Yu Darvish by season’s end.