5 biggest questions facing the Chicago Cubs in 2021

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Jake Arrieta / Chicago Cubs
Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

Cubs: Is this starting rotation ready for the grind of 162 games?

The starting rotation for the 2021 Cubs starts and ends with Kyle Hendricks. He’s the only sure thing out of the myriad of arms vying for a spot in this staff.

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Former Cubs hurler and Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta is back in the fold, but no one seriously expects him to be anywhere near what he was in his first stint with the team. Preseason projections are low on the right-hander. The sad truth? Chicago needs him to at least eat some innings – something he hasn’t done in awhile.

Trevor Williams and Alec Mills will each get a spot in the rotation, as well. Both have looked sharp this spring, but are coming off pretty so-so performances in 2020. Williams has a 5.45 FIP over the last two years and, despite a no-hitter, Mills was erratic and inconsistent last season.

Another offseason pickup, Zach Davies, will look to learn from Hendricks and repeat his breakout 2020 with the Padres. The soft-tossing right-hander was stellar with San Diego and came over in the Yu Darvish trade. Again, being in the final year of his contract, Hoyer could look to trade him at the deadline if the Cubs are out of contention by that point.