Chicago Cubs: What the future holds for Tyler Chatwood

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

Could the Chicago Cubs Tyler Chatwood get a shot at a spot in the rotation next season? It isn’t unheard of, but why mess with a good thing?

It is no secret that Chicago Cubs right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood struggled last year as a starting pitcher with the Cubs. In 2018, Chatwood led the league with 95 walks and had a 5.30 ERA which isn’t exactly ideal for a starter or any type of pitcher for that matter.

As a result of those struggles, the Cubs acquired Cole Hamels at last year’s trade deadline, who, thankfully, has been a successful starter for Chicago since.

At the end of last season, especially after the Cubs lost the Wild Card game, many fans wondered how much of a future, if any, Chatwood would have in Chicago. In the end, the Cubs decided to relegate the 29-year-old right-hander to the bullpen. While this could have been a difficult change for any starting pitcher, Chatwood handled it well.

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Not only did he spend extra time in the offseason doing all he can to improve for the 2019 season, but more importantly he has seen results. Chatwood has been throwing more strikes and showing the control of his pitches that he lacked last season.

So far this season, Chatwood has only given up 29 walks and has a significantly lower 3.92 ERA in 57 1/3 innings pitched. Though Chatwood has mainly remained in the bullpen, he has been called upon to start this season, but only in specific emergency situations. Regardless of whether he started, or came out of the pen this year, he has gotten the job done effectively.

With this being said, the question remains, where does Chatwood’s future fare with the Cubs looking towards the 2020 season? Some might believe that since he has improved so dramatically in the pen, he should be given a chance to start next season. However, why mess with his success out of the bullpen?

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Unless the need for a starter suddenly arises, why put him back in the position to possibly struggle again? Yes, Chatwood has proven this year that he can make quality starts when needed. But he hasn’t made enough of them to prove that he belongs in the rotation rather than the pen. Hopefully, Chatwood’s success pitching with the Cubs continues, and we will see where he stands in the organization next year.