Chicago Cubs: Is it too early to worry about the 2020 bullpen?

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Maples has one of the nastiest sliders in the game

Dillon Maples, by all accounts, has one of the nastiest sliders in the game. His problem has been throwing enough strikes to induce swings-and-misses from batters. If the righty doesn’t show the Cubs he has enough control to stay in the big leagues, the team may lose control of Maples to another team. On the other hand, if he figures out his control, he could be a future closer.

Dakota Mekkes, a former tenth-rounder, has a deceptive delivery. Critics have pointed out he shouldn’t be able to get away with relying on his deceptive delivery at the next level. And yet he has rocketed his way all the way up to Triple-A. Mekkes has a career ERA of 1.16 in 147 innings. Last year he had a 1.17 ERA in 57 2/3 innings split between Tennessee and Iowa.

The Cubs were smart to not call Mekkes up last September. This year there is no longer a roster consideration for not adding Mekkes to the 40-man roster. If his’ deceptive delivery will work on hitters as well as it has thus far, he should have the opportunity to show that in 2019.