Chicago Cubs: Arguably the biggest bug-a-boo for the rotation? Consistency
You can apply consistency, or lack-there-of, to most of the pitchers in the rotation last year. Probably the first name that comes to mind is Jose Quintana. When he was with the White Sox for many years, consistency was his middle name. That has not, however, been the case since coming to the North Side.
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The overall numbers look mediocre, 4.03 ERA, 4.43 FIP, 1.319 WHIP in 174 1/3 innings. His 3.5 BB/9 was a career-worst.
However, his K/9 (8.2) was higher than it was any season from 2012 to 2016 before coming to the Cubs. In 25 of 32 starts, he gave up four runs or less. A few really bad starts throughout the year ballooned his numbers a bit. The biggest thing for him is to find that consistency he had on the South Side when he was a 3.50 ERA/FIP pitcher.
We can also apply this to Cole Hamels. Yes, it sounds weird but hear me out. Epstein found gold in Hamels last year, who was struggling in Texas. Hamels is a career 3.40 ERA, 3.66 FIP and 1.17 WHIP pitcher (2,553.0 innings). He, like Lester, is 35 now. So age can be a concern, like Lester, but a bigger question is can Hamels work off the mojo he had in 76 1/3 innings he had with the Cubs last year?
It should be expected that he does not put up a sub-3.00 ERA in a full season next year with the Cubs, there will be some evening out. He can still put up some very solid numbers, but how consistent he will be at this age over a full season with this next year is yet to be seen.