With Brandon Morrow out for the year and Pedro Strop‘s season very much in question, would the Chicago Cubs turn to Dillon Maples in the postseason?
“What a stupid proposal.” I know, I know, it does not seem plausible. But maybe, it sounds just crazy enough to be plausible. In seven games this year, Chicago Cubs right-hander Dillon Maples has a 9.00 ERA. In five innings, he has given up four hits, five earned, struck out eight, but walked five.
Like a lot of the guys in the Cubs bullpen, Maples has swing-and-miss stuff, but doesn’t really have any idea where it’s going. He does not give up much contact and has held opponents to only a .222 average.
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For evidence of Maples’ stuff, go to his time in Iowa this year. In 38 2/3 innings, Maples struck out 75 hitters while holding them to a .162 BAA. However, that walk bugaboo came back to bite him again, with 39 free passes. He keeps the ball in the ballpark though, giving up just two dingers across both levels.
The past couple times Maples has entered into the game, it was to put out a fire in a deficit. Most relievers in the playoffs will be asked to do this at least once. Maybe these were auditions, perhaps?
His biggest asset? His filthy slider. When that pitch is going right, it can be a real weapon. His fastball touches 95 to 97 MPH, as well. Maples really does have some of the purest stuff in the Cubs’ organization. With a bunch of tired arms in Steve Cishek, Mike Montgomery and Carl Edwards Jr., Maples would provide a fresh arm that the Cubs may need in the postseason eventually.
Again, don’t forget – even if Pedro Strop is ready, he likely won’t be at 100 percent. Plus, Joe Maddon is known to be unconventional, putting a guy with 13 career appearances on a playoff roster is certainly unconventional. Why not try something new?