Cubs must answer these big questions heading into Spring Training 2.0

David Ross #3, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
David Ross #3, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Rowan Wick / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Bullpen success will be critical in shortened season

There is no question Craig Kimbrel is the team’s closer. Whether he bounces back is questionable on its own, but we know what role he will play. As for the setup position there are several options the Cubs can go with.

The man listed on the depth chart right now is Rowan Wick. Last season he really impressed with a 2.43 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 2.82 FIP and a 9.5 K/9 in 33 1/3 innings. In total he has appeared in 41 career MLB games since his debut with the Padres in 2018, so he does not have a whole lot of experience. If he can replicate what he did in 2019 he could be a very solid option for Ross.

Another guy to consider is former Brewers setup man Jeremy Jeffress. The Cubs brought him in on a one-year deal this past offseason after struggling in 2019. Jeffress was an All-Star in 2018 with Milwaukee  as he pitched to a 1.29 ERA and 10.4 K/9 in 76 2/3 innings. He sports a career 3.16 ERA and 3.62 FIP in 392 career games. Jeffress has plenty of experience and an overall strong resume.

The last name to mention is likely not going to be strongly considered as he is better served in the seventh inning or to face lefties is Kyle Ryan. He was very solid last year with a 3.54 ERA and 3.85 FIP in 73 games. Again he is likely not getting this role but worth noting his ability to pitch in late innings.