Chicago Cubs: This team desperately needs starting pitching

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The 2021 regular season is chugging along as June is coming to a close, and July is almost upon us. With July comes the All-Star break as well as the trade deadline at the end of the month. Rumors are already circulating, and it seems as if the July trade deadline could be a saving grace for a lot of contending ball clubs. One of those teams is the Chicago Cubs.

All in all, the Cubs have had a decent season. The bullpen has been stellar as of late, especially considering last week’s combined no-no. Not only that, the bats have shown up in the right places and at the correct times. Despite these two positives, there are still negatives that need to be addressed. One of those negatives is the starting rotation and the team’s glaring need for additional starting pitching. 

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As things currently stand, the Chicago Cubs starters have the third-worst ERA and are averaging below five innings a start. Hendricks, 31, was inconsistent early but has come into his own as of late. Davies has also been inconsistent, but being an integral part of last week’s combined no-hitter, things could be looking up for him.

Trevor Williams, another inconsistency, has been sidelined but is nearing a return. Alec Mills has claimed a temporary rotation spot with an injured Williams and was given time to get himself back into a groove.

Jake Arrieta has struggled so much that questions are lingering around him even holding on to his starting job. When Williams does make his return, which seems as if it will be very shortly, Arrieta or Mills could lose their spot in the rotation.

Lastly, Adbert Alzolay has returned from injury, and the pitcher who seemed to be coming into his own has appeared shaky as well. The young right-hander made his second start since returning and only gave the team three innings in the Cubs a 7-1 loss to Los Angeles on Sunday.

The Chicago Cubs desperately need more starting pitching

While the team has a prominent and growing need for starting pitching, they aren’t the only ones. Looking at the league as a whole, there a lot of teams in the same boat. While a top-tier starter would make the most significant difference, it seems unrealistic. However, a depth starter or two would also be able to make a difference. Acquiring a decent starting pitcher by the July 30 deadline would help the team contend down the stretch.

That being said, Jed Hoyer could be looking for some sort of deal that would impact the team beyond the 2021 season. After all, the rotation is going to need to be revamped once again come next year regardless.

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Targeting pitchers like German Marquez or Jon Gray could be beneficial to the longer-term future of the North Siders. Regardless of whether or not the Cubs make a trade in the coming weeks and who they trade for, hopefully, the club can bolster the rotation for a second-half run.