Chicago Cubs: 3 relievers to may return in 2022 – #1: Jesse Chavez
Dialing back the clock to 2018, we land on Jesse Chavez who spent half of the season with the Chicago Cubs. If you were watching four years ago, you probably scratched your head wondering why the Cubs didn’t keep that guy. In 39 innings of work, the right-hander put up an incredible 1.15 ERA over the course of 32 games that he appeared in. Chavez hasn’t always been that dominant presence, but when he is firing on all cylinders, he is tough to beat.
Since leaving the Cubs, Chavez had two down years in a row before heading to Atlanta for the 2021 season. What’s important is that while in Atlanta, he got his mojo back. It was a fantastic comeback showing for Chavez. He was initially signed on a minor league contract and wasn’t brought up until June. From there, his resurgence was evident. Chavez finished 2021 with a 2.14 ERA over 33 1/3 innings while fanning 36.
As we all know, the pen is such a vital piece to any team’s success. You see how far clubs like the Brewers get with a top-5 bullpen. Not that a bullpen is the single-most important factor but, simply put, you have to have a good mix of arms if you want to win games. A starter is not going to be lights-out everyday and if your bullpen isn’t in good shape, as we witnessed with the Cubs in the second half of 2021, it quickly becomes clear: you will not make it very far.