Cubs History

Cubs have a recent history of free agent pitchers starting slow

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Jon Lester / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Some Chicago Cubs fans might be a tad nervous seeing the results of Marcus Stroman so far this season. Through three starts he sports a 8.78 ERA. Of course, Stroman was the big free agent pitching move of the season, so his rough start is certainly viewed through a magnifying glass.

However, it is still very early and Stroman has a great track record. It was an abnormal preseason after all. Now is not the time to panic yet. Frustrating? Absolutely, but there is plenty of season left. It is worth noting that a number of free agent pitchers started off poorly when they came to the Cubs, and it all worked out eventually. Here are some notable ones.

Cubs: Jon Lester – 2015

One of the big-time names of the 2014-2015 offseason was veteran lefty Jon Lester. Cubs fans prayed for him to come to the North Side, and he eventually did on a six-year deal. Everyone remembers what he did for the team in the regular season and postseason. Two-time All Star, co-NLCS MVP and World Series champion made that contract worth every penny.

However, he did not start off his tenure with the Cubs very well. In April 2015 he started four games and posted a 6.23 ERA, surrendering 15 earned runs and 29 hits (.322 average against) in 21 1/3 innings. While some of it was flukey/misfortune, the results in the box score are what matter in the end. His worst start of those four was giving up six earned to the Reds in his second start on 10 hits in six innings.

For the rest of 2015, he posted a 2.99 ERA, 3.00 FIP and .299/.280/.362 slash against. He honestly was All-Star worthy, and probably would have gotten a nod in Cincinnati that year had it not been for the first few rough starts. His numbers by the break were very good (3.59 ERA) but they could have been even better. Oh well. Nobody is questioning that deal.

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