Chicago Cubs: Why they’re dangerous, the bullpen and more

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The last two seasons have the left the Chicago Cubs disappointed. Going to the playoffs four years in a row is nothing to shake your head at. But the Cubs expect more, and that’s why they’re dangerous this season.

After winning the World Series in 2016, the Chicago Cubs have been left with two ‘down years. Another trip to the NLCS, and a quick exit after losing a one-game playoff for the division, then the Wild Card game to the Colorado Rockies. PECOTA has them pegged for 79 wins–which make absolutely no sense. Metrics are great. But the mental side of the Cubs this season is what will make them even more of a threat to the rest of the league.

With the injuries the Cubs bullpen suffered last season, Steve Cishek was forced into the highest number of innings he had pitched in his career. He was effective, but to remain effective, his innings will need to be monitored closely. Cishek began as a closer, so an inning of work was always his usual. The Cubs pressed him into action more and will need him again this year.

The Cubs picked up left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno, who figures to play an essential role in the Cubs pen. Unfortunately, he won’t be available for the season opener with a sprained wrist that has him at least a week away from throwing a baseball. So who steps up to fill in for Cedeno? The team has more than enough depth, and I don’t think the plan was to have to pull from it on Opening Day.

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These and other stories you might have missed:

‘Why the Cubs’ last two seasons make them dangerous’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Cishek’s usage key for the Cubs in 2019’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Cubs will be without Cedeno for season opener’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Sabathia throws first session since procedure’ – ESPN

‘9 historic encores to root for in 2019’ –

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