Chicago Cubs: Who is the next man up amid the bullpen turmoil?

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Danny Hultzen, LHP

The glitz and glamour of promoting a young prospect is an exciting idea. That, however, should not be the case for Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon in this situation. A former number two overall pick, Danny Hultzen has found a resurgence with the Cubs. Following his release from the Seattle Mariners in 2016, Chicago brought in Hultzen on a minor league contract before the 2018 season.

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While 2018 was not his year as he reacclimatized himself to the mound, this season has become a complete 360 for the emboldened reliever. In 10 games with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, Hultzen has thrown 10 1/3 innings, posting a stable 1.74 ERA while simultaneously striking out opposing hitters an absurd 37.2% of the time.

Hultzen has also managed to keep the ball in the yard as he has not allowed a home run and is carrying an above-average 3.32 FIP. The ground-ball rate is well up from last year at 44.4% and opposing hitters are hitting just .088 against him.

Of everyone the team should consider as an option, Hultzen should be the guy. Derek Holland and Kyle Ryan represent the only two left-handed relief options, and it would not hurt to add Hultzen to the mix, even if for just a week. As adverse as these injuries are, this could spell an excellent redemption opportunity for Hultzen and his career.

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