5 important things we learned about the Cubs in April
By Jake Misener
5 important things we learned about the Cubs: #2 - The bullpen, as expected, lacks a clear ninth-inning answer at this point
Although David Ross never officially appointed a closer, it quickly became clear he was hoping for Michael Fulmer to seize that role. Instead, a combination of poor performances and bad luck derailed those plans and the right-hander is now readjusting in lower leverage spots.
It's safe to assume Brad Boxberger, another of the team's offseason additions, will be the next man up for the gig - but I can't help but think when Codi Heuer returns this summer, the ninth-inning job will quickly belong to him. For now, though, it's very much a matter of taking things day by day.
On the whole, Cubs relievers carry a 3.98 ERA, which ranks 18th in the league and sixth in the National League. But, in typical fan fashion, all people remember are the ones that got away, namely a pair of games against the Dodgers in recent weeks.
Fulmer, as I said, has struggled at times - and Julian Merryweather is walking proof that throwing hard doesn't always equal success at this level (6.94 ERA in 11.2 IP). But there have been a lot of success stories here, too - and the Cubs have enough depth to weather the struggles they've seen.