Chicago Cubs: There are real question marks in the bullpen

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs have a lot of question marks in the bullpen. From walks to injuries and everything in-between, these guys need to step up in 2019.

Let’s just start with some of the obvious ones, shall we? The Chicago Cubs bullpen pitched well last year, as a whole, but there’s a lot to worry about if you dig into the numbers.

Carl Edwards, Jr. can be one of the most dominant weapons in the Cubs bullpen. But late last year the lanky right-hander completely lost the strike zone. He walked at least one batter in every appearance he made in September except for one. In case you’re wondering, that comes out to 12 walks in seven innings. If Edwards finds the strike zone again, he has closer stuff. If he keeps walking batters at that high a rate he is the setup man version of Tyler Chatwood.

Do you remember how pleasantly surprised we all were at about this time last year when Brian Duensing resigned with the Cubs and took less money to do so (two years, $3.5 million each year)? Obviously, his season-long numbers look terrible (ERA 7.65, FIP 6.35). However, Duensing started last season off well. He didn’t give up an earned run until May 13, his 18th appearance of the season.

If Duensing goes back to the pitcher he was in 2017 or the beginning of 2018, he is a full-inning left-handed reliever. If not, his career may be over. His Cubs career certainly would be.

Which brings us to the closer. When Brandon Morrow was healthy last season he was great. The problem is he wasn’t healthy very much. After offseason surgery, the Cubs are planning on beginning the season without him. The question now is simple: will he come back and close out the rest of the season or will it just be the beginning of his injury woes in 2019?