Chicago Cubs: Jeremy Jeffress primed for a big year

Jeremy Jeffress, Milwaukee Brewers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Jeremy Jeffress, Milwaukee Brewers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs’ Jeremy Jeffress is poised for a prime year. The question is, will he get it?

The Chicago CubsJeremy Jeffress is headed for a big year. A shoulder injury sidelined him in the first three weeks. Then in August, he had a hip injury. By September 1,  he was released.  Will he get it? Or will he ‘choke’ on it? I bet he capitalizes on it, and here’s why.

In 2018, he had an impressive year. He had an 8-1 record with a 1.29 ERA.  His ERA+ was 317, and his WHIP was 0.991–the lowest in his career. He was an All-Star, and things were good. In 2019? A different story. He had an ERA of 5.02 and an ERA+ of 89, and he was released by September.

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Enter the Cubs. The team seems to lock-on to ‘have-nots,’ or not having as much skill as the others. The pitch lab is part of that. It turns fringe relievers into solid spin monsters. If you can get just get a hold of him and work on the spin rate? Money.

As Tim Stebbins pointed out, injury can’t be attributed to workload. But he did toss a career-high 76 2/3 innings, 6 2/3 more than 2015. And his curveball? It dipped from 30.8 percent usage with a K% with a 40.3 to 28.4 percent usage with a 27.3 K%. And his curveball went from a .151 to a .222 average. Yikes.

If you can get that going–even slightly–that will be good for the gander. I know, I dated myself. But still, if you can get that going by either the health or the spin? Jeffress is a force to be reckoned with. And his $800k deal will seem pretty good.

Jeffress is a bounceback candidate if I’ve ever seen one. Now, if the is hip fully healed and the shoulders good? He’s looking at a comeback player of the year. If not, he’ll probably get released by July. Either way, he’ll need to produce to get into David Ross‘ head and stay there.

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Ross and Jeffress are on the same wavelength as far as production. That said, Jeffress has to produce. If he doesn’t, he’s gone. Plain and simple. Ross is on-point as far as managerial talent. People have talked about him, but he’s oblivious to that.

If he generates for the Chicago Cubs, he’ll stay there–even snatch the setup role. Even with Brandon Kintzler, Steve Cishek and Pedro Strop leaving. Strop was the longtime closer. Can Jeffress replace him?