Chicago Cubs: Cubbies Crib staff talks 2019, makes their predictions

(Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs: Do we think the bullpen is deep enough?

Bill R:

I’m going to be an optimist about the bullpen when it’s easy to be pessimistic about it. There are a lot of question marks with this bullpen going into this season. But as I think about it piece by piece I feel fairly confident that it will work out. Pedro Strop, Steve Cishek and Mike Montgomery will be solid once again.

The front office has done a good job in the past of finding effective low-cost bullpen additions such as Jesse Chavez and Jorge De La Rosa last year. Xavier Cedeno stands a really good chance of being the next pitcher of that type.

This also should be the year the Cubs finally get some contributions from minor league prospects such as Adbert Alzolay, Dillon MaplesDakota Mekkes or Justin Steele graduating to the Major League level.

Bill Q:

With the exception of Pedro Strop, it’s hard to know what you’re going to get from relievers.  I think the pieces are there to make it formidable, but they have to stay healthy and they have to pitch to their potential (easier said than done).

Even though you’re not supposed to answer a question with a question, here’s my answer to the question:  Will Morrow, Strop, Cishek, Edwards and Montgomery be healthy all year? If those five guys are healthy, we will be just fine.

Alex: 

You can never have enough bullpen depth, and I think the Cubs have a decent amount. However, it also depends on the health of closer Brandon Morrow who will not be ready to start the season. Carl Edwards Jr. is also an X-factor considering how good his stuff is, but his inconsistency of execution.

The additions of Brad Brach and Xavier Cedeno at least solidify established depth along with Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Mike Montgomery and Randy Rosario. If all goes well, this is a nice looking bullpen…but it can also go really south if a few pieces are struggling or hurt.

Erik:

Absolutely not. Needs one more guy, whether somebody from the minors steps up or they add another.

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Logan:

Before the addition of Brad Brach, I would have argued no. However, Brach should be a solid contributor and provide nice production.

The return of Carl Edwards Jr. is imperative, and veterans such as Steve Cishek and Brandon Kintzler need to step up. As long as they can hold their own until the return of Brandon Morrow, the bullpen should be fine.

Marty:

It is hard to feel super comfortable with the bullpen, but we have to remember that this unit was one of the best in baseball in the first couple months. They simply fatigued at the end of the year.

Adding Brach and Cedeno was vital for depth. Getting Montgomery back for long and middle-inning relief should be nice and adds another quality lefty. And don’t forget about Luke Hagerty, who has rediscovered his velocity and could become a fixture in the bullpen later in the year.

Jake:

Again, similar to the first question – there’s a difference between depth and impact talent. It could be good. Brandon Morrow is a huge question mark and we have to hope Carl Edwards is right and knows how to throw strikes.

Pair those two with Pedro Strop and Steve Cishek and you feel decent. Given the sheer number of low-level/low-risk additions Theo Epstein made, we only need 2-3 to work out for this to be a solid group.

Nick:

The depth is there, but are there enough key arms to fill those critical spots? With Morrow coming back from injury, and Edward having a meltdown at the end of last season, the back of the pen isn’t exactly set. They have the depth to survive the season, but do they have the right guys in the right place is the question.

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