5 biggest X-factors for the Chicago Cubs heading into the 2023 season

Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs
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5 biggest X-factors for the Chicago Cubs heading into the 2023 season - Justin Steele

One of the great success stories from the Cubs a year ago was the incredible second half that Justin Steele had. Steele managed to turn himself into a legitimate Major League starter that could not be denied from starting every 5th day for the Cubbies. Now the question is, can Steele sustain that success and take it to the next level?

Steele, 27, is still on the younger side for a starting pitcher and has the kind of stuff that most major league teams look for in an ace. In 2022, Steele had a 3.18 ERA and 126 strikeouts. If Steele can continue with that line, you feel extremely comfortable with him as your 2nd or 3rd starter.

What comes into play for Steele though is if he could have an even greater season, you are starting to talk about having a legitimate potential ace on your hand. That would mean the Cubs have managed to build up a homegrown potential ace in their starting rotation.

The potential success of Justin Steele is what can take to Cubs from being good to very good. But most importantly for the Cubs' pitching staff to continue to succeed, they will want Steele to continue to improve on what was an awesome season a year ago.