Chicago Cubs: Five candidates to round out the starting rotation

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Montgomery faded late, but showed promise

It’s uncomfortable to think about what the Cubs season could have been if not for Mike Montgomery. As if losing Darvish in May weren’t bad enough, Tyler Chatwood was completely ineffective in his first year with the Cubs.

But Montgomery stepped in and pitched well, turning in a 2.83 ERA in six outings in June, his first month as a full-time starter. From there, it was a bit of a roller coaster ride for the southpaw, with his earned run average bouncing up and down monthly the rest of the year.

On the year, Montgomery posted a 1.1 WAR, making 19 starts and 19 relief appearances, truly serving as a jack-of-all-trades for manager Joe Maddon. His 3.99 ERA on the year ranked third amongst Cubs hurlers who made at least 15 starts with the team.

You’d never guess without looking that he outpaced Quintana, Darvish and Chatwood in that department. Well, at least by name recognition, you wouldn’t. But that’s exactly what happened. He’s made his desire to start pretty clear in the past and if a need arises or the Cubs want to spend money elsewhere rather than the rotation this winter, Montgomery may be the answer.