Chicago Cubs: Blake Whitney is an interesting case for South Bend

(Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Solid numbers across the board

Whitney made his professional debut in 2018 for the Arizona League Cubs, where he started nine games and compiled 31 1/3 innings of work. It was a solid first go-around for Whitney, who pitched to a 2.30 ERA with a 3.75 FIP and 3.92 xFIP, respectively.

One impressive piece to his game was the strikeouts. Whitney struck batters out that first season at a 28 percent clip, managing to keep his walks relatively in check. He did an excellent job limiting home runs and held opposing hitters to a .235 clip.

Last season, the Cubs moved Whitney to Class-A Short Season Eugene, where he found much more consistency across the board. This time, Whitney did not start a single game. However, he did make 18 appearances across 53 2/3 innings. The righty finished with a 3.19 ERA, posting an identical 3.19 FIP and a much stronger 3.46 xFIP. Whitney also kept his strikeout rate nearly the same at 27.9 percent, walking opposing hitters at only a rate of 8.1 percent.

The Cubs bumped Whitney up for a cup of coffee in Class-A South Bend, where he will most likely begin the 2020 campaign. He made two appearances for the Cubs, giving up two earned runs across 2 2/3 innings in his Class-A debut and then bounced back a few days later to retire his only batter faced.