Three Chicago Cubs who will be hurt most by shortened schedule

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Chicago Cubs
Tyler Chatwood, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Chatwood is in the final year of his three-year deal

Tyler Chatwood’s two years in Chicago could be summed up in several different ways, ranging from a dumpster fire to something right around mediocre. The hard-throwing right-hander had a rough 2018 as a starter, struggling to find the plate and stay healthy, making only 20 starts after being signed to a questionable three-year contract before that season.

Without a place to put him or trust him, Joe Maddon used Chatwood out of the pen in 2019, where he was generally pretty good. He even had a few spot starts, including some memorably successful ones.

That being said, Chatwood is now in “put up or shut up” mode, and as a 30-year-old pitcher, Chatwood needs to do as much as possible to show that he has righted the ship and can be a capable major league starter.

As the presumed fifth starter during the offseason and spring training, Chatwood would have had a full season to show his wares and prove his worth to every MLB club before becoming a free agent at the end of the season. With a partial season, if Chatwood doesn’t pitch at an elite level, questions and doubts will persist about whether he can be bona fide MLB starter.

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In financial words, this shortened season could be costing Chatwood millions. More than likely, regardless of how he pitches in a shortened season, teams will view Chatwood as a long man or possible fifth starter, but his chances of getting over $10 million a year are probably slim in a long term deal. A full season could have provided the right-hander with ample opportunity to prove himself over the course of a season, but alas, that’s not going to happen.

In addition, with the MiLB season in the balance as well, the Cubs could elect to bring up some of their minor league phenoms with an expanded roster, putting more pressure on Chatwood and taking innings away.

Guys like Adbert Alzolay, Brailyn Marquez, or even someone like Justin Steele could usurp innings if given a chance by new manager Ross.