Despite how things played out, the Chicago Cubs got some strong performances from key pitchers this year – including one starter you might not think of.
The inconsistencies of the Chicago Cubs pitching staff, as a whole, dominated headlines throughout the 2019 season. Jon Lester started to show his age, Cole Hamels looked like a wildly different pitcher after returning from injury and in the bullpen, high-leverage woes ran rampant.
The bullpen will likely look wildly different in 2020 given the high number of players poised to hit free agency – including several key members of last year’s relief corps. Chicago heads into the winter with at least one void in the rotation, with Hamels hitting the open market, as well.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom when it came to Cubs pitchers this season. Several guys turned in solid campaigns and played integral roles in keeping the team in the playoff hunt right now to the final weeks of the season.
Let’s look at some of the most valuable pitchers for this year’s Chicago Cubs team using Fangraphs WAR – and break down what these four guys brought to the table this season and what they may offer as the team looks to get back on top in 2020.