3 early red flags for the Chicago Cubs 2023 season
As it sits, the Chicago Cubs have a winning record as we begin to draw near the end of April. At 12-9, a lot has gone right, but still, a lot can be improved in the Cubs want to contend in 2023. The offense has been spectacular, and several individual contributions to this part of the season have made the Cubs look like they can be a playoff team as soon as this year. But then, some issues will also hold them back if they aren't addressed.
For example, no one is sold on the Pittsburgh Pirates' 16-7 start and thinks they're a serious contender this year. On the flip side, no one thinks the St. Louis Cardinals' 9-13 start indicates their potential this season. The Cubs are in the middle and can be considered a true question mark. For this Chicago Cubs team to not be a fluke, they need to address these three early red flags to solidify their playoff chances in 2023.
3 red flags for the Chicago Cubs in 2023 - Lack of a true ace
As good as the Chicago Cubs pitching staff has been through the early part of 2023, they still lack a true ace to get them over the hump and have the advantage over a competitive field. Marcus Stroman and Justin Steele have been magnificent to start the campaign; all three of Hayden Wesneski, Jameson Taillon, and Drew Smyly have been hit or miss, which is something you can't have true confidence in if you get toward a potential playoff run. Spotty starts beg the question of if the rotation is about to change shape with Kyle Hendricks' imminent return.
At the time of writing, The Cubs currently boast the best ERA among starters in the National League, but with a long season of peaks and valleys, the Cubs can afford to fortify their rotation if they wish to be able to count on long-term success. The rotation isn't so much of an ominous warning sign but rather an area that can be further improved that may subsequently cost them games if it isn't addressed and refortified during the season.