Chicago Cubs: Knowing when to hold them, when to fold them
When Brandon Morrow was healthy last season, the guy was lights-out. He pitched to a 1.47 ERA, 1.076 WHIP and 2.96 FIP in 30 appearances. The problem, though, was that he wasn’t healthy the entire second half of the season, leaving a tremendous void at the back end of the pen.
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I’ve made my personal thoughts pretty well-known on this front. Chicago can’t go into 2018 with a closer who can’t shut the door on a regular basis without fear of injury. The team needs to hedge the bet it made on Morrow when they signed him to a two-year deal with a team option last winter.
In steps Raisel Iglesias.
The Reds closer averaged just under 96 MPH on his fastball last season – a key weapon in his arsenal. On the year, he posted a career-best 21.2 percent soft contact rate, and, even when a lot of metrics suggest his heater wasn’t near as potent as in years past, he still put up solid numbers.
The 28-year-old made 66 appearances for Cincinnati, averaging 10 strikeouts per nine and racking up 30 saves for the first time in his career. He struggled with the long ball in 2018 – and there are some concerns, to be sure. But adding a hard-throwing impact reliever to slot in alongside Morrow and Pedro Strop gives the Cubs one of the best bullpen trios in the league – capable of shutting down any offense.