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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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Dakota Mekkes, RHP

A former 10th round selection by the Cubs in 2016, Dakota Mekkes has been stellar leading up to this season. In just two seasons, Mekkes worked his way from the Rookie league to Triple-A Iowa, tearing up the competition.

Last season split between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, Mekkes posted a 1.17 ERA with an 11.9 K/9 rate in 53 2/3 innings and barely ever surrendered the long ball. This season has not been kind to Mekkes. He has struggled to a 4.69 ERA in 35 games, seeing a decline in his strikeouts and an uptick in his walks.

All that aside, however, Mekkes is someone who could and probably should also be considered as an option if Kintzler sees the IL, or if something were to happen with Cishek. In an end-of-season report from Michael Ernst at Cubs Den, he profiled how Mekkes’ fastball usually sits between 91-92 mph, but that Mekkes did manage to get it up to 95 mph when he needs. His delivery from the mound allows him to create a perception with his fastball, which can be effective at the next level.

As inconsistent as Mekkes has been in 2019, it could be time the Cubs brass decides to give him the opportunity in hopes he can carry what he’s done throughout his minor league career, to the next level.