Joe Maddon has his hands full trying to pick closers nightly to finish up games for the Chicago Cubs while Theo Epstein quietly is considering upgrades to the bullpen. Will he make the move?
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is having quite the season thus far. First, Maddon finds out he’ll be without their primary closing pitcher, Brandon Morrow, for an extended amount of time and then a windfall of issues rose up:
- The Chicago Cubs start slow and pile up some early losses.
- Starting pitcher Jon Lester gets hurt running during his trip to bat.
- Outfielder Ian Happ and pitcher Carl Edwards Jr., are sent down to Triple-A Iowa.
- Darvish starts throwing some stinkers.
- Catcher Victor Caratini gets hurt and is put on reserve.
- Acting-closer Pedro Strop gets hurt and is put on reserve.
- Both first baseman Anthony Rizzo and third baseman Kris Bryant struggle at bat.
- Rizzo hurts his back and has to sit out several games.
- Utility player Ben Zobrist takes an extended leave of absence for personal reasons.
With all of this happening in the opening months of the season, how is it even possible that the Chicago Cubs are in first place in NL Central?