It’s August 18, and the Chicago Cubs have run off not one, but two losing streaks of at least 11 games this year. It’s been a rough go of it for the Cubs as the post-trade deadline moves continue to show how much the core actually did help the team, regardless of their numbers at the time. Though with the core the Cubs only sat around .500, without them they have descended into a free-fall in the standings with gravity pulling them down faster and faster the further they plummet.
As darkness fell on the Cubs at the trade deadline, there have since been bright spots that have illuminated themselves on an otherwise significantly woeful ballclub. The rotation is completely in shambles at this point. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez are gone. Craig Kimbrel, Ryan Tepera and Andrew Chafin – who anchored the bullpen – are also gone.
The mood on the North Side of Chicago has been gloomy for the past few weeks, to say the least. Although this viewpoint is more of a “the glass is a quarter full rather than three-fourths empty”, the recent emergence of guys like Rafael Ortega, Patrick Wisdom and Frank Schwindel have been welcomed and fun to watch. There are also key members still in the bullpen that can play a crucial role moving forward down the stretch and in years to come.
Any success there has been seen since the trade deadline has been vastly overshadowed by the series of events that led up to this point. Understandably so, but it is still important to point out and identify that not everything about this team is in terrible condition right now. Looking ahead, let’s identify four successful relievers the Chicago Cubs need to hold onto if the front office wishes for the bullpen to continue to be a strength of the team moving forward.