Chicago Cubs: Little hope for the Cubs if Yu Darvish chooses to opt out
With reports that Chicago Cubs’ Yu Darvish has not ruled out opt-out of the 2020 season, we look at how major of a blow that would have on this group.
With another rise of the coronavirus occurring right before the start of the long-awaited Chicago Cubs and the MLB season, fans have to be on edge in fear of losing the season. It’ll be one thing to start the season, but to finish the full 60 games that are planned will be something we should all be concerned with.
Not only that but between now and July 24, it will be interesting to see who else opts out of the season. As names continue to build in that area, Yu Darvish is one that hasn’t ruled out the possibility. Without Darvish to lead the Cubs rotation, we’d be hard-pressed to consider this team a title contender.
With reports that Darvish has had thoughts of sitting out the 2020 season, Cubs fans can only think worst case scenario if that were to happen. We all remember how Darvish dazzled in the second half of 2019, leaving fans in anticipation of what he would have in store as an encore. In 13 starts post-All Star Break in 2019, Darvish posted a 2.76 ERA with 13 strikeouts per nine and a WHIP of 0.808. Incredible numbers and has put himself in position to be the Cubs new number one starter.
Without this firepower in an already thin rotation, the club would be in big trouble. Jose Quintana is already down with an injury, so adding another front line starter to the list of men down would give the Cubs a reason to hit the panic button.
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We would see a rotation headlined by Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester, which isn’t bad by any means, but we would then see a Tyler Chatwood as the number three and then an Alec Mills and potentially Jharel Cotton to fill out the rotation.
The first word that comes to mind when looking at that list is uncertainty. Potential no doubt, as Mills has posted a career K/9 of 10.8, Chatwood bounced back in 2019 with an ERA of 3.76, and he heads into a contract season, while Cotton has upside at the age of 28.
With all of the upside, the consistency would be a cause for concern, and not having a second dominant arm next to Hendricks would be very difficult for the Cubs to manage. Darvish finished the 2019 season ranked 7th in all of baseball with an 11.54 K/9. That explosiveness will be needed without a doubt if the Cubs want to make a run in this short season.
Mixing in Darvish’s domination with the strategic mind of Hendricks has the team set up to have one of the best 1-2 duos in all of baseball. This team can’t afford for one of those pieces to go down. The Cubs have done a (knock on wood) a great job of keeping everyone safe as they are the only team not to have a positive COVID test, but how long will they be able to keep that perfect record?