Chicago Cubs: Chatwood wasn’t a good fit in the bullpen either
Finally, in late July the Cubs pulled the plug on the Chatwood experiment and removed him from the starting rotation. The final straw for him was walking six batters in back-to-back games.
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With nearly $38 million invested in over three seasons, the Cubs couldn’t just let him walk, so they gave him a chance in the bullpen. Let’s just say that didn’t exactly work out either. Chatwood made just four appearances in relief, accumulating 7 2/3 innings. He surrendered six runs and his ERA skyrocketed to 7.04 over the course of his stint in the bullpen.
In the bullpen, he was hardly any different as he still struggled with his command. He walked seven batters, coming out to 8.22 walks per nine. Although it was a short sample size, that was the highest ratio among all Cubs relievers in 2018.
Based on all of last year’s struggles and how deep the Cubs starting rotation looks this time around, Chatwood’s role for this season looks to be very uncertain. With a deep starting five, the only chance for Chatwood to start would be if someone got hurt. It’s also clear that the bullpen is not a good fit for him based on his struggles last season.
Ultimately Chatwood will have to be patient as he will certainly have limited opportunities to prove himself, again barring any major injuries to the Cubs’ big five.
Of course, if the Cubs don’t have any use for or faith in Chatwood they could always try to deal him to another team. The issue here though is his contract and some teams may look at him as nothing more than a project after his debacle last season. Whatever they decide, it will be interesting to see what they do with Chatwood next season.