Chicago Cubs: Starters performing well; still no new backup catcher

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs continue to get strong showings from prospective starters and still have not added a veteran backup catcher to share the load behind the dish.

The make-or-break facet of the 2019 Chicago Cubs may very well be its starting rotation. Featuring two 35-year-old veterans and a right-hander coming off an injury plagued and ineffective showing, there are certainly questions regarding the staff.

But so far, Chicago has gotten nothing but promising returns from guys in the mix to start. Even long-shot write-off Tyler Chatwood gave Joe Maddon three scoreless innings in which he did not walk a batter. That might not sound like a big deal, but given the fact he failed to accomplish that feat last season, it means quite a bit.

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On Saturday, veteran Jon Lester squared off against the reigning NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers, allowing two earned runs over three innings of work. Getting another strong campaign from their southpaw will be key for the Cubs in their bid to make another deep October run.

Looking at the other end of any prospective batteries Chicago may trot out over the course of the 162-game regular season, the catching position comes into focus. We know Willson Contreras is the undisputed starter behind the plate. But the question of whether or not we trust Victor Caratini to handle the reps behind him continues to loom.

And one of our personal favorite options to come aboard, Martin Maldonado, just became a much hotter commodity after the Kansas City Royals learned they will likely be without star catcher Salvador Perez for the season. The six-time All-Star will undergo Tommy John surgery – leaving a major need behind the plate for the Royals.

As for the Cubs, they seem content rolling with either Caratini or perhaps Taylor Davis, who is once again in big league camp in Mesa this spring.

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