Chicago Cubs: 4 key relievers the team must focus on developing
4 Relievers the Chicago Cubs Must Keep Moving Forward – #2. Dillon Maples
At number two, we have Dillon Maples and his extremely team-friendly contract. Maples, who won’t reach unrestricted free agency until 2027, has missed some time this season with a right triceps strain and, more recently, a blister.
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Before 2021, Maples had only seen 23 1/3 innings at the big league level with an ERA of 5.12. The walks have been the thorn in his side during his pro career – because there’s never been any doubt about his stuff.
He currently has a 2.28 ERA in 27 2/3 big league innings this season. He was recently sent to Iowa for a rehab assignment on August 11 where he has now pitched 2 1/3 innings in 3 appearances, getting touched up for three runs in his second appearance, while the other two have been scoreless.
Currently 29, Maples is the kind of arm you need in the bullpen. He was off to a fantastic start with the big league club this year and should be called back up before long. If he can continue what he started in the beginning of the year, his low cost and highly effective arm are the perfect combination for any bullpen.
The hope is that once he is back he is back for good and can be a staple of the bullpen moving forward. Again, that’s completely contingent on his ability to find the strike zone. If he can’t do that consistently, he’ll find himself on the outside of the bullpen picture, looking in.