Chicago Cubs: More relief pitchers
Casey Sadler: C. The Cubs may have gotten a bargain when they acquired Sadler this past offseason, as he was coming off a solid 2019 season, but this year the results have been mixed. It’s been more good than bad, but he’s given up multiple runs in two of his last three appearances following a nice start. Hopefully, this is just a hiccup for him.
Ryan Tepera: B. His rough outing against Detroit on Wednesday has inflated his ERA, but if we take that away, Tepera has been a nice find, as he did have eight straight scoreless outings before that. He’s also not walking people, as he’s allowed just two free passes all year in 11 2/3 innings of work. Hopefully, that last outing was just an aberration.
Jeremy Jeffress: A. Jeffress has been a tremendous buy-low pickup for this team following a subpar season in Milwaukee last year. David Ross has not been afraid to use him in high-leverage situations, and for the most part, Jeffress has come through, allowing just two earned runs in 12 1/3 innings of work. All but one of his appearances have come in Cubs wins. He’s been the MVP of the bullpen to this point.
Rowan Wick: B-. Like Ryan, Wick was supposed to be a key member of this bullpen after coming off a breakthrough 2019 season. There’s been more good than bad, as he only allowed one run in his first eight appearances. However, he’s given up multiple runs in each of his last two, inflating his overall ERA to 5.00. Ross clearly trusts him in clutch situations; let’s hope Wick can bounce back from this recent setback.
Craig Kimbrel: D. He’s spared a failing grade because he’s shown some progress recently, but it was once again a rough go of it at the beginning of the season, as he gave up runs in each of his first four appearances. While he’s struck out 13 in 7 1/3 innings, he’s also walking far too many (nine overall, though four were in one appearance). He still has a lot of work to do to fully earn the confidence of Ross.