Chicago Cubs blew it by not unloading Zach Davies at the deadline

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Early on, Chicago Cubs right-hander Zach Davies held his own in the starting rotation. He was, all things considered, decent from early April to late June, working to a 5-5 record with a 4.32 ERA across 83 1/3 innings of work.

He allowed just six home runs and held opponents to a .243 average. He didn’t work deep into ballgames hardly ever in the first two months, but tossed six or more frames in four of his six June outings – a promising sign. He was, by and large, OK in July – hardly an ace, but that was to be expected. But once the calendar flipped to August? The wheels came off.

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Davies has made just two starts this month, but they’ve been absolute disasters.

Between those two outings, the latest of which was a shellacking on the national stage Sunday night, he’s pitched only six innings – while surrendering 14 earned runs. Opponents have torched him to the tune of a .433 average and 1.033 slugging percentage. To say he’s not getting the job done is putting it mildly.

All told, in 24 starts with the Cubs, he’s 6-9 with a 5.26 ERA and 1.570 WHIP. And his xERA is 6.06 – which ranks in the bottom five percent of the league. Some people wish they’d keep him and part ways at the end of the season. I respect that. But in the end, he’s got to go – now.

Jordan Bastain said it best when it came to Davies.

‘Just deflates a team’? Seven runs in two innings. I have to be honest here: cut ties with the guy. He can catch on somewhere else. His 5.26 ERA is the highest it’s been in his career – and I don’t think it’s going to come down soon.

"“For me,” Davies said after the game, “it’s really just, go out there, if I have a job to that day, that’s what I’m going to do. And let management and the front office decide what the team is going to do.”"

Chicago Cubs: Quit taking valuable innings from your young players

The Cubs have to release him. Then they can focus on their crop of young arms in the season’s final two months. Maybe look at a six-man rotation. Either way, Davies is a liability at this point. Clearly, after this season, he’s not going to be a viable target to return in 2022. So what are we doing here? Designate him for assignment and hope he gets picked up by some team. Any team.

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Look, I don’t like it. But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Davies was on borrowed time. He impressed initially, but in the end, he’s totally failed to replicate the success he had last year in San Diego. So let us part ways with Davies. Heck, Jake Arrieta and Jason Heyward, too. Let’s get this youth movement underway.

Happy trails, Davies.