Chicago Cubs: Imagination, intrigue and the case for a 2025 starting lineup

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: A higgledy-piggledy starting rotation

I’m going to be the first to say that as things stand, it is a little rocky for this starting rotation heading into the future. The Cubs added left-hander Jordan Wicks from Kansas State as their first-round pick in the draft and have current major league starter right-hander Adbert Alzolay working on grooming himself into a more consistent role.

Brailyn Márquez’s path to club ace is seemingly proving to be more complex, and the Cubs could realistically end up moving Márquez to the pen for high leverage situations. Right-hander Kohl Franklin has shown glimpses of greatness in his way, as Franklin finished with a 2.31 ERA at Low-A in 2019 over ten starts.

Unfortunately, after one appearance at High-A, where he gave up one run in three innings, the dreaded injury bug derailed Franklin’s season. However, he can still be a solid contributor.

Following the trade deadline deals, the guards were changing as righty D.J. Herz will more than likely be a part of a rotation a few years down the line. Herz is still just 20 years old, but he’s been pitching with a plan. He pushes the top 30 on nearly every list and has huge strikeout numbers at Myrtle Beach.

Outside of that, a handful of guys could potentially be contributors to the pitching staff, but it is so far out it is anyone’s guess. Looking at it now, I would suggest Alozlay and either of Wicks or Franklin as the top dogs now as guys like Keegan Thompson and Cory Abbott may be trade chips.

Justin Steele falls in line with Márquez regarding the possible starter-turned-reliever situation, but we’ll see how his work and arm continue to progress. Herz should be a guy who may be able to add something special to the rotation.