Chicago Cubs: Taijuan Walker auditions in hopes of landing a new deal

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 30: Taijuan Walker #99 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 30: Taijuan Walker #99 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: A definite need at number five

Currently, as it sits, discussions by the team make it seem like right-hander Tyler Chatwood has a strong chance at opening the 2020 season as the number five starter. Alec Mills and Adbert Alzolay are also in the discussion. However, there is a ton of uncertainty with Mills and Alzolay in terms of both consistency and experience.

Chatwood is fine. He is not great, but fans know what you get when the veteran is on the mound. Anything more than his baseline is positive, and anything less becomes a point of “I told you so.” It is not what you ultimately want with a back-end starter, but it is the reality as it sits.

Walker’s last consistent season was in 2017 in Arizona. He made 28 starts that season, compiling a respectable 3.49 ERA across 157 1/3 innings, with a 21.4 percent strikeout rate and a 4.04 FIP. It was strong enough to earn Walker a 2.5 fWAR, higher than Chatwood has ever posted in the entirety of his career.

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