Jed Hoyer left the door open on Brailyn Marquez joining the Cubs postseason roster.
I feel like this year, we’ve gone from flying high on the heels of a 13-3 start to battling worries over the starting rotation and, now, having some very serious concerns about the state of a horribly inconsistent Chicago Cubs offense.
Chicago hasn’t scored more than a single run in any given inning since the fifth inning of last Tuesday’s 6-5 win over Cleveland. Kris Bryant has been awful all year (and departed Monday’s game with an apparent oblique injury) and pretty much none of the core guys are pulling their weight at the dish.
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That’s the most glaring issue facing first-year skipper and prospective NL Manager of the Year candidate David Ross. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the Cubs’ pitching staff, either. The group gets a big shot in the arm with the return of Jose Quintana – but the bullpen is far from an imposing presence this year.
From the left side, your eggs are all in the Andrew Chafin, Kyle Ryan and Josh Osich basket. Ryan hasn’t followed up his breakout 2019 with a similar showing in 2020, Chafin has battled injury and ineffectiveness this year and Osich has done little to shore up the club since coming over at the trade deadline.
What does all this add up to? Near-incessant speculation the Cubs will turn to hard-throwing lefty Brailyn Marquez come October. Here’s what Chicago GM Jed Hoyer had to say when asked about the 21-year-old hurler.
"“He’s throwing really well in South Bend. I don’t want to comment sort of beyond that, other than the fact that he’s worked really hard with our guys at the alt site. I think he’s progressed nicely. I think he’s gotten better and better kind of by the week being there.”"
That’s a pretty noncommittal answer in the grand scheme of things. I mean, I’d love to see the Cubs add a guy who can pump triple-digits on the radar gun from the left side. Pair him with an effective Craig Kimbrel and I’d immediately feel a whole lot better about that group heading into October.
But Hoyer made sure to remind us all of some critical facts when considering such a possibility.
"“I think people forget that this is a guy that has never pitched above High-A ball. He’s made nice progress this year and is certainly someone we have a lot of high hopes for going forward. We’ll have to make a decision on him, as far as whether he’s in that 40-man [playoff] roster or not.”"
Cross your fingers if you’d like. But either way, we’ll soon know one way or the other on the chances of Marquez reaching the big leagues this fall.