Chicago Cubs News: Ben Brown may be the savior the bullpen needs

The Chicago Cubs have an embarrassment of riches in the rotation and just an embarrassment of a bullpen; Ben Brown has the ability to solve that now that Justin Steele is back.
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It’s not rare, much less unique, for a Major League Baseball team to be a tale of two teams. Generally speaking, that means that while the offense is incredible the pitching staff gives up too many runs or vice versa. 

What’s a bit more rare is for a team to be as Jekyll and Hyde as the 2024 Chicago Cubs have been when comparing their starting pitching rotation to their bullpen. 

The Cubs have seen Jameson Taillon live up to his pre-2023 expectations, they’ve seen Hayden Wesneski and Javier Assad exceed their 2024 expectations, and they’ve seen Shota Imanaga look like a legitimate Cy Young candidate.

However, they’ve also seen Adbert Alzolay look completely shaken to his core, while Hector Neris, Yency Almonte, and others struggle to get out when the game necessitates them the most. 

Ben Brown may be the ideal savior.

Ben Brown has appeared in eight games this season and started four of them. In his four starts, he’s allowed six earned runs over 19 innings and looked every bit of a candidate to remain in the starting rotation.

However, with Justin Steele returning from the injured list, there simply aren’t enough places in the rotation for now and his skillset should translate perfectly to the bullpen. 

Aside from his blowup in the second game of the season against the Texas Rangers where he allowed six earned runs, he’s allowed just two earned runs in his 11.2 innings pitched out of the bullpen. 

As a reliever, Brown has the ability to be whatever the Cubs need. 

They will likely want to use him in long relief situations to keep him as stretched out as possible, but with other options within the system that could come up and eat innings as a starter, as well as potential trade targets at the deadline, there’s a real possibility that the most valuable version of Ben Brown for the 2024 Chicago Cubs is as their closer.