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
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Chicago Cubs: Horrendous showing can’t be tolerated again

When the Chicago Cubs signed Tyler Chatwood last winter, there was cause for optimism. Away from Coors Field in Denver, the right-hander actually had some promising metrics. His spin rate ranked among the best in all of baseball – and his stuff clearly had swing-and-miss potential.

After he effectively flirted with disaster early in the going, things completely fell apart. By the month of May, the writing was on the wall. He put up a 5.95 ERA that month, followed by a 5.40, 6.53 and 8.22 down the stretch. More notably, he simply could not hit the strike zone with any type of regularity.

In May, July and August, he walked more batters than he struck out. When the dust settled on his season after one final start, he led all of Major League Baseball in free passes. Once rosters expanded, the Cubs buried him out in the bullpen – showing literally no trust in the righty.

Maybe mechanical adjustments can be made this offseason and Chatwood can at least limit the control problems that plagued him last year. One thing is abundantly clear, though. A repeat of 2018 is not in the cards as the Cubs can’t tolerate it every five days.

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These five guys offer a wide range of options to round out the rotation. The safe bet? Cole Hamels returns and holds down the fort. But if that doesn’t come to fruition, get familiar with these other names because all could play a role in 2019.