Cubs: Tyler Chatwood is lined up to be in the starting rotation

Tyler Chatwood, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Tyler Chatwood, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs’ Tyler Chatwood is set for the starting rotation. Ask him.

It’s a massive season for the Chicago CubsTyler Chatwood. He’s at the end of a three-year deal, a three-year deal that went dead during the coronavirus. But if he can do enough with the team? He could get a deal elsewhere–or back with the Cubs?

He was relegated to the bullpen, where his ERA was better (3.76). Still, in 2018 he walked 95 batters–tops in the league–and his ERA was 5.30. He brought his walk percentage down to 8.2 BB/9 to 4.3. High, but not THAT high.

"“As I know right now, I’m starting,” he said. h/t Steve Greenberg, Chicago Sun-Times"

Well, there you have it. He’s starting. And it’s not because Jose Quintana sliced his thumb and nerve damage that they repaired. Actually, it’s some of that. Heading into February, he was the likeliest fifth-starter that they have. Alec Mills is the second choice for a ‘fifth-starter.’ Or the fourth starter. We can go on about the back half of the rotation. It’s 1-2 that matters. Actually, it’s the first.

Chatwood and Mills will meet again. So will Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester and Colin Rea. It’s challenging to keep each pitcher on a separate schedule. So the top six will work in tandem, with relievers filling in the gaps.

Lester is behind, but that’s fair. He’s ancient. Alright, he’s not that bad. But he’s old. He threw a bullpen Sunday. As David Ross said it, he’s saving as many bullets as he possibly could.

Back to Chatwood, he’s a ‘shoe-in’ to make the rotation. Mills is next, and Rea will be a sixth-starter–or if Chatty and Mills falter. Personally, I don’t see them wavering. And when Quintana comes back? They’ll have seven players who’ll be exceptional at starting–if Q’s nerve damage holds. A BIG if. If Quintana doesn’t have it in his thumb–which he injured–your down to six. Ouch.

Next. Cubs' Darvish, Hendricks impress. dark

Darvish and Hendricks will compete for 1-2 spots. Lester is set at No. 3. Chatwood and Mills will level out the rotation. Quintana–when he’s available–and Rea will round out the top seven. And who knows? Q could get stuck behind Mills and not start. Or worse, the thumb is not healed up. It’s funny how Quintana waited until now to slice his thumb. Smh.