In 2016, the Chicago Cubs rode their staff to a title. That won’t happen in 2020.
Four years ago, it didn’t really matter whose turn came up in the Cubs rotation. Manager Joe Maddon had a staff loaded with talent, including the reigning NL Cy Young winner in Jake Arrieta and a pair of 2016 NL Cy Young finalists in Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks. Even the back end of that staff, which featured right-handers John Lackey and Jason Hammel, was a strong tandem capable of working deep into ballgames and giving the team quality almost every time out.
That’s not how this season is going to go. That’s not to say there’s not talent on this staff – there certainly is. But it’s not anything you can take to the bank as a sure-thing. That would have been true even in a normal world where we’re playing 162 games, let alone in a 60-game sprint.
We knew this team faced depth questions in the rotation even prior to the Jose Quintana injury. For now, it looks like the southpaw will resume his throwing program this week, but it’s hard knowing how long it will take him to get ready for in-game action.