Chicago Cubs: Let the pitching do the talking
Cubs pitching has been a mixed bag from year to year. Year over year, the team’s earned run average climbed from 3.96 to 4.10 in 2019. That might not be a huge increase, but it’s one statistic that shows a decline of sorts.
However, there are a number of figures that show team pitching has done very well and is in fact flourishing. For example, last season the Cubs 100 more strikeouts (1,444) than they did in 2018 (1,333).
Chicago saw its bullpen woes come back to haunt them late in the year. The club managed only 38 saves – eight fewer than the year prior. That might not seem like much, but those eight games could have been enough to punch the team’s postseason ticket.
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Next season’s bullpen is starting to look really interesting. Remember the two-year, $21 million dollar man, Brandon Morrow? Oh you thought he was gone? Interestingly enough, Morrow and his agent know he’s got nowhere to go except home so why not take a team-friendly minor league deal?
The right-hander was lethal in his day and if he’s so close to being back, why not add him to the mix? If Craig Kimbrel can’t finish one or needs a blow, Morrow could be called up given his late-inning experience.
This is the two punch Epstein had hoped would come to fruition last season, but Morrow never finished his recovery. Now Epstein can be creative and has already traded with The Athletics for right-handed pitcher Jharel Cotton, who hasn’t pitched in the Show since 2017 but supposedly has a “knockout changeup“.
We haven’t even gotten into how good Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish is now or even Jose Quintana‘s impressive performances. Epstein, like other leadership around the league, prides himself on putting together a quality pitching squad capable of dominating. It hardly ever happens like that and there is constant massaging throughout the season but knowing that this is a point of pride, you can expect the Cubs pitching to be on the upswing next season as opposed to a decline.