Cubs: Which starters could move to the bullpen?
Assuming the Cubs go and get another starter in free agency, they will have a very promising rotation to open the season. Marcus Stroman, Kyle Hendricks, Justin Steele, and a free agent such as Sean Manaea gives them four really good starters. They could even add another starting pitcher in free agency to fill out the five.
Hayden Wesneski is already in Triple-A and could rise into the rotation or the bullpen by the start of next season. A look at him in September would be smart for the Cubs to finish the season, in my opinion.
Jordan Wicks and Caleb Kilian are also candidates to earn a spot on the 26-man roster in 2023 whether as starters or out of the bullpen. If the Cubs truly want to compete next season, they will probably not be on the roster right away but anything can happen. If any of those three young guys make the roster, they will probably be in the rotation.
That would give the Cubs five clear starters while leaving out a few guys that have performed well in 2022. Thompson has been sensational as a starter but his experience in the bullpen comes into play moving forward. He is the best candidate to move back into a relief role.
Sampson has been better than expected this season as an emergency starter and has earned another shot with the team next season. If he does return, the bullpen is his best opportunity to make an impact.
Adbert Alzolay has not played this season due to injury and innings have always been a bit of a concern for him as a starter. I think he has a role on the team as a spot-starter and reliever for the future.
The Cubs may not have to look too far to find the rest of their bullpen in 2023 after all.