Cubs looking for someone to seize the closer’s role early in the year

(Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /
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Rowan Wick / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Cubs: Don’t count out these two big right-handed options

Two other names that may not necessarily be favorites but could find themselves in contention for the closer spot are Chris Martin and Rowan Wick.  Both relievers have the stuff to make for good late-inning relievers.

Martin has long been acclimated to late-inning roles throughout his time in Atlanta and Texas but has never been given a shot at closing. Martin has a fastball that averages 95 MPH, a welcome sight in a staff that traditionally throws a bit softer.

The right-hander keeps walks to a minimum, doesn’t give up a lot of home runs, and had a SO/9 north of 10 in 2019 and 2020 before a sudden drop to 6.9 in 2021. If the Cubs can help him get his strikeout numbers back up, Martin could become a valuable member of the bullpen.

As for Wick, he seems to be a very intriguing candidate for the role. Wick got the most looks as the closer down the stretch in 2021 and is still very much in contention for the role now. Wick has been a key contributor to the bullpen every year he’s been in Chicago, and that is likely to continue this upcoming season.

Wick is possibly the best reliever on the team at keeping the ball in the yard (0.2 HR/9 in his time with the Cubs), and has seen his strikeout rate climb higher with each passing season. If Wick doesn’t win the closing job, he is still likely to have a big role in the bullpen.