Chicago Cubs: The continued downfall of Brad Brach

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

With Brad Brach not performing up to par, the Chicago Cubs need to take the initiative looking towards a possible offseason run in their future.

The rapidly approaching deadline leaves the Chicago Cubs with many vital decisions to make. One of these decisions is whether right-handed reliever Brad Brach should be given more time to figure things out, or if he should be designated for assignment.

The Cubs signed Brach during the offseason. And while he was an affordable option in free agency,  he also had a consistent track record which met the ball club’s needs. In the end, this deal ended up being nothing but a bargain turned disappointment.

It is no secret that Brach has not performed up to par this season with the Cubs. The previously consistent veteran reliever has been somewhat inconsistent this season. His slider is the most inconsistent, while other pitches, such as his sinker are more consistent typically getting righties.

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This season with the Cubbies, Brach has pitched 38 2/3 innings out of the pen, pitching to a 6.05 ERA, 4.13 FIP, and 1.780 WHIP. During his five years with the Baltimore Orioles, Brach pitched 327 2/3 innings out of their pen, pitching to a 2.79 ERA, 3.51 FIP, and 1.195 WHIP.

Compared with his time with the Orioles, and the rest of his career in general, Brach’s ERA is significantly higher. While a high ERA is a tell-tale sign of a pitcher’s downfall, there’s more than meets the eye.

It should be noted that Brach has 26 walks this season, which has dramatically impacted his ERA. His walk rate is not only double of where it has been over the past few years but is also among the highest in baseball. His lack of control and his inability to throw strikes has been the main contributor to his lack of success with the Chicago Cubs this season.

At the beginning of the second half, the North Chicago team has stayed atop the NL Central division. However, after Brach lost the game last night, the Cubs only a half-game up on the Cardinals. With the Brewers only two games back, the division is up for grabs.

Being within such a close division, and desiring a wildcard spot, the Cubs are in no position to be dwelling on a reliever. Brach has had the first half, and a couple of weeks but has not figured out what has gone wrong for him. Many Cub fans have wanted the team to DFA Brach for weeks, and it now might be the time for the Chicago Cubs to take the initiative and do just that.

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It might be argued that cutting ties with a veteran reliever, especially one who had performed so well earlier in their career might be difficult. But sometimes it needs to be done for a postseason push. He had a solid outing on Monday night (I know, I’m surprised too), then gave up a home run to Pablo Sandoval to lose last night’s game.