Chicago Cubs: Predicting what the 2022 starting rotation will look like

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs / David Ross / Jed Hoyer
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Soon, the 2021 season will mercifully come to a close for the Chicago Cubs. But once we shut the door on this forgettable campaign, this team has work to do and a lot of questions to answer before next spring.

What will the lineup look like? How do you plan for an offseason that comes with added uncertainty given the CBA discussions between the MLBPA and league? That will definitely impact the team’s aggressiveness in free agency – as it will with the other 29 teams in baseball. What about the starting rotation, which has cratered following the trade deadline?

Nobody, with a possible exception of Kyle Hendricks had that great of a season this year. Even the ‘Professor’ himself is experiencing a down year by most standards. Adbert Alzolay is finishing the season in the bullpen, Alec Mills has been hot and cold, Davies is still in the rotation because, well, somebody has to be, and Trevor Williams was traded away at the deadline due to his underperformance and was utilized as an extra piece to obtain a top-five prospect from the New York Mets.

This tweet makes me realize just how terrible the rotation is at this point. The offense hasn’t been world-beaters either but they’ve at least had their bright spots in Rookie of the Year candidate Patrick Wisdom, the emergence of NL August Rookie of the Month Frank Schwindel and Rafael Ortega’s contribution in the leadoff spot. Ian Happ, who has struggled all season, has finally turned the corner and played to his potential in recent weeks.

No matter what the offseason ends up looking like, Jed Hoyer and the front office has to address the starting rotation. You cannot re-tool, rebuild or whatever label you want to slap on it until this rotation uncertainty gets some answers. It’s not like you can lean on the bullpen, either – although there are some potential bright spots there (although they’re few and far between).

The rotation, however, has been abysmal all season long and there is no other way to put it. Looking ahead to 2022, let’s take a look at who we know will be part of rotation and potential pieces that can be added without breaking the bank via free agency.