Chicago Cubs: Teams offer a blueprint for success
The Chicago Cubs had a great plan for putting together a team that won a World Series in 2016 and made the playoffs for four straight years. However, given that the team has only won one pennant in the Theo Epstein era and has regressed each of the last three years, Cubs fans should agree that they should have been able to accomplish more. If the Cubs are looking for examples of how to running a winning organization, as is the case every year, they could learn something from this year’s World Series participants.
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One thing we’ve learned this postseason is that starting pitching still matters. In an era where bullpens are becoming more relied upon, especially in the postseason, the Astros and Nationals have both shown what having a strong starting staff can do.
The Nationals have built up a strong foursome in Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Anibal Sanchez, and they have succeeded despite having a shaky bullpen all year. Meanwhile, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole have been outstanding for the Astros.
Despite already having good starting pitching, the Astros also went out and got Zack Greinke at the trade deadline this year.
Both teams also have a minor league system that continues to produce talent for them. The Nationals decided that they could afford to let Bryce Harper walk away as a free agent last offseason because they still had plenty of outfield depth, including the youngsters Juan Soto and Victor Robles. The Cubs’ minor league system hasn’t produced much over the past few years; with several of their players coming up on big paydays, it will need to start producing in case they end up losing some players via free agency.