Chicago Cubs News

How do we feel about the Chicago Cubs after the first month?

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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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It’s only the end of April, and it already feels like a roller coaster season for the Chicago Cubs.

After a 1-6 start where everything that seemed to go wrong for the Chicago Cubs went wrong, the boys remembered who they are.

We’re talking about a team that’s been to three NLCS in four years, won a World Series title and compiled more regular season wins than any other team in major league baseball since 2015 (401). To think they were going to play that bad for an entire season is a kind of negativity I’ll refrain from ever consider having.

I’ll come down to earth before I start leading everyone to believe the Cubs don’t have any problems, but this core knows what it takes to win, and until they prove otherwise, I’ll roll with them.

Since the 1-6 start, the Cubs are 13-6 and will finish April with a winning record no matter what happens in Seattle tonight (The Cubs won, 11-0.) As we expected, the NL Central is stacked with competition. The Milwaukee Brewers jumped out the season looking like a World Series contender going 8-2 in their first 10 games. They now sit at 16-14, but Christian Yelich is playing like the reigning NL MVP, which means it’s only a matter of time until this team gets another winning streak going.

The St. Louis Cardinals have everything rolling for them at 18-10. This is the first season they’ve ever reached 18 wins before April 29th. The addition of Paul Goldschmidt has helped their offense reach another level, as many expected.

The Pittsburgh Pirates (12-14) and Cincinnati Reds (12-16) look like they may be at the bottom of the division all season, but with how competitive the division is, both could be in the Wild Card chase if nothing else. The Pirates are struggling of late, however, losing eight straight contests. The Reds are 4-7 in one-run games. Turn that record around, and we’re probably looking at them differently. The point is, the division is excellent, and I haven’t even mentioned much about the Cubs except their recent hot streak.

We know the Cubs biggest flaw is their bullpen. Carl Edwards Jr. had an abysmal start to the season, leading to his demotion. Since his demotion, the Cubs have received quality work from Kyle Ryan, Brandon Kintzler, Steve Cishek and Brad Brach in late-inning opportunities. They haven’t changed the thoughts around the needs in the bullpen much, but it’s been much better than the Cubs first seven games.

Unfortunately, Brandon Morrow suffered another setback, and there is no timetable to when he can return. He was expected to be back as early as later this week to kick off the month of May.

Another early notable injury includes Victor Caratini, who, before he went down due to injury, was filling in nicely as the backup catcher to Willson Contreras. The Chicago Cubs called up Taylor Davis on April 12. He’s started one game since his call up, which makes me wary of how the Cubs plan to keep Contreras rested with Caratini out for at least six weeks.

Jon Lester missed a start due to hamstring tightness but returned last Thursday at Wrigley Field in the final series games with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lester pitched five innings and had one-earned run while throwing on a pitch count. All in all, he seems to be OK, and the Cubs will probably let him go fully in his next start.

The month has not been easy, but their light schedule helped them as they have beat up on teams they should beat, winning two of three against the Arizona Diamondbacks twice, sweeping the Miami Marlins on the road, taking two of three in Pittsburgh and winning a home series against the World Series favorite Dodgers.

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The Cubs open up a series with the Seattle Mariners Tuesday then return home for their first series with the red-hot Cardinals this weekend, which will be an excellent test for a squad that’s seen a lot of adversity early.

By the end of May, I think we’ll know what this Chicago Cubs team’s potential is, but for now, it’s still too early to know.

*Stats accurate as of April 29

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