3 underrated pitcher signings the Chicago Cubs made this winter

Division Series - Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees - Game Two
Division Series - Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees - Game Two / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Tyler Duffey
Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

3 underrated signings - 1. Tyler Duffey

Most recently, the Cubs landed Tyler Duffey, formerly of the Minnesota Twins, on a minor league deal for the 2023 season. Duffey also received a Spring Training invite, so he will have the chance to break camp with the big league roster. He did have a down season in 2022, recording a 4.91 ERA, but was stellar from 2019-2021 with a combined 2.69 ERA over the course of 144 IP.

Duffey's velocity has gone down a couple of ticks, and mixing up his pitchers further will be key, Take a look at this mix, with the line allowed on each:

  • Knuckle-curve: .279/.347/.500 (41.97%)
  • Fastball: .288/.368/.525 (36.84%)
  • Sinker: .207/.207/.345 (14.30%)
  • Changeup: .111/.111/.111 (4.45%)
  • Curveball: .667/.667/.1.000 (2.43%)

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The beginning stages of diminished velocity affected him to the point where the Cubs will probably discuss utilizing the pitch slightly less. Same with his Knuckle-curve, which, combined with his fastball, was used at a 78.81% clip. Safe to say, looking at his sinker and changeup results, he will need to sprinkle in more of those moving forward. Of course, with matchups and hitter strengths, you can't just shove sinkers to a sinkerball hitter, but where possible, he will need to mix it up to get back to keeping hitters guessing and off balance. The Cubs have been building a solid track record of helping pitchers adjust, so don't be surprised to see Duffey take a step forward in 2023.