Chicago Cubs: Early predictions for the starting rotation

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: A solid starter at a palatable price

There is no doubt that the tenure of Jose Quintana on the North Side has been overall disappointing. The frustration has been escalated by what the team gave to the White Sox in the trade which brought the veteran lefty across town back in 2017, but we have to look at Quintana himself apart from that.

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Last season was for Quintana was odd. His 4.68 ERA was a career-high and his 171 innings pitched was a career-low since his rookie year. The end of the season really blew up his overall numbers as he saw a .402 average against and .447 BABIP against in September. He still made 30+ starts and put up a 3.5 fWAR. One stat that really stands out is the 3.80 FIP which was an 0.88 difference from his ERA.

Quintana’s second-half FIP of 3.53 vs 5.40 ERA (70 innings) is something everyone should take note of. He was not All-Star level in 2019 but he had some stretches where he pitched better than the box score. Kind of hard when you are not a huge swing-and-miss guy who pitched in front of a sloppy defense last year.

The Quintana that pitched for the White Sox is probably not coming back, which is a bummer. That does not mean we cannot get productive Q in 2020. With hopefully a defense that plays better this coming year and commanding the strike zone like he did in 2019 (2.4 BB/9) vs. 2018 (3.5 BB/9) we can see a decent season from him.

2020 Prediction: 4.08 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 1.3 WHIP, 162 K, 54 BB, 31 starts, 184 innings

dark. Next. Looking at Nico Hoerner in 2020

The Cubs are going to need their rotation to step up completely in 2020 if they want a shot at the postseason. The five-starter role will be an interesting one because there are interesting candidates on the roster even if no moves are made.