Chicago Cubs: Five dark horse candidates for the starting rotation

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 30: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning of Game One of the National League Wild Card Series against the Cincinnati Reds at Truist Park on September 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 30: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning of Game One of the National League Wild Card Series against the Cincinnati Reds at Truist Park on September 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Brailyn Marquez  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Brailyn Marquez  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Could the big lefty find his way into the rotation?

Despite his upside, this one is probably the least likely of my five, which is saying something because the Cubs actually have Brailyn Marquez under contract. As we witnessed this past September, from both the organization and Marquez himself, he’s probably not ready despite the hype and excitement from the fanbase.

The fireballing lefty is as enticing a prospect as the Cubs have had since Mark Prior, and you can bet that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer want nothing more than for him to succeed by blowing hitters and fans away. That being said, it’s probably a less than 1 percent chance that Marquez could crack the rotation next year. 2022, now that’s a different story; but, without a minor league season in 2020 and his lack of experience heading into this season, it’s extremely unlikely.

Then again, it was extremely unlikely the 2020 season would succeed or even happen. It was also unlikely, we were told, that Marquez would find his way into the bigs in 2020; that also happened. While Marquez won’t likely be in the Chicago rotation until 2022 at the earliest, he has the stuff and he is with the Cubs currently. The good new is, even if he doesn’t start the year in Chicago, you can almost guarantee he’ll be back up at some point and in some role.

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