4 Chicago Cubs players fans are losing patience with
4 Chicago Cubs players fans are losing patience with - Michael Fulmer
If you'd like, you could swap out Michael Fulmer with the entire bullpen in this spot and it would still make sense. No reliever, save for maybe Keegan Thompson and Adbert Alzolay, has been safe from criticism from the fans for their performance. The bullpen's ERA still sits at 3.54, barely within the top ten of all of baseball, but that hasn't stopped mounting frustration with individual performances.
Perhaps the man who has earned the most ire is Michael Fulmer. The expectation was set early on that he would get the lion's share of closing opportunities for the Cubs this year all things equal. Given his successful transition to the bullpen in Detroit and nasty pitches, that seemed like a logical jump. On the North Side, however, his stint as closer hasn't been particularly smooth as he currently sports a 5.87 ERA with a 1.435 WHIP.
I think he can still be a good pitcher for the Cubs. While he gives up far too many barrels, he's still able to generate whiffs at an above-average rate and his hard contact rate sits at the 89th percentile. His ERA is also somewhat skewed by two particularly awful back-to-back outings against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Some more work with the pitch lab and lower leverage appearances will likely help, but it'll take some time for fans to fully trust him again with the game on the line.