Chicago Cubs: Five candidates to round out the starting rotation

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs: Could the team turn to Jesse Chavez?

The exploits of veteran right-hander Jess Chavez are well-documented by this point. When the Cubs acquired him from the Texas Rangers, most folks, myself included, looked right past the move.

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It wasn’t that Chavez had pitched poorly with the Rangers. In fact, he pitched to a 3.51 ERA and 4.17 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 30 appearances. Post-trade, the right-hander cranked it up to a whole new level.

The then-34-year-old right-hander made 32 appearances, finishing 11 games for Chicago. His strikeout-to-walk rate hit a staggering 8.40 mark and a 0.795 WHIP tells you just how effectively Chavez pitched. With Pedro Strop and Brandon Morrow sidelined late in the year, he actually finished off 11 games. picking up four saves.

So with all this late-inning experience, why are we talking about him as a starter? In 2017, Chavez made 21 starts (along with 17 relief appearances) for the Angels. He was not effective (5.09 FIP, 1.399 WHIP) – but the point still stands.

He clearly figured something out following his trade to Chicago. If Hickey can help him build on that, he could team up with someone like Montgomery or Smyly to piggyback for the fifth spot in the rotation.

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