Chicago Cubs need to do more than piece together a bullpen

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Potential, sure. But we need more proof.

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Then we’re talking about names like Duane Underwood Jr., Colin Rea and Dillon Maples. Let’s start with the latter. This kid is dripping with potential.

Every time I watch him buckle a guy at Triple-A, I think about how nice it would be to see him on the mound at Wrigley. Then, he airmails a pitch or completely loses the zone and I have immediate second thoughts.

Rea seems like more of a long man or spot starter to me than an impact arm you turn to late in a ballgame. The 2019 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year was recently added to the Cubs’ 40-man, so you have to figure he’ll factor into the team’s plans in one way or another.

Underwood is another one of those guys who could turn into something but, at least to this point, hasn’t shown the ability to lock down a spot on the pitching staff. Never say never, but I have to see it before I’m willing to put stock in it.

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What all of this means is abundantly clear: the Chicago Cubs can’t just hope these guys all come together and form even a league-average pen next year. In 2019, high-leverage situations proved to be the team’s undoing – so not addressing the bullpen by dedicating significant resources would be nothing short of a mistake.