Chicago Cubs News: Javier Assad thriving in starting rotation

With Marcus Stroman still on the injured list, it looks like the Chicago Cubs found their substitute pitcher in Javier Assad.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago Cubs
Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

With Marcus Stroman still on the injured list, it looks like the Chicago Cubs found their substitute pitcher in Javier Assad. While his past start against the Arizona Diamondbacks was rough, his previous starts show that he is ready to be a part of the rotation.

With the Cubs being in the playoff picture for the first time since 2020, it is crucial for them to decide who would pitch in future games. The fact is that other than Justin Steele and occasionally Kyle Hendricks, the rotation has suffered a bit due to Stroman's injury. Both Taillon and Smyly have struggled so the fact that Assad has proven solid is great. Having the potential rotation of Steele, Hendricks, and Assad looks decent for the playoffs while putting Smyly and Taillon for relief.

Assad has a 2.83 ERA in 26 games played with 67 strikeouts. While it is still a sample size, it shows promise that in the future of the team, he can be in the back of the rotation after Stroman comes back. Also, with Wicks coming up and showing that he can bring promise, it looks like the future of the team is bright.

The question though is if he can stay consistent. As mentioned earlier, he had a rough start yesterday and has no playoff experience so the risk of him becoming more vulnerable is high. Especially since he would have to face potentially good teams. But, the fact that he is pitching better than starters with experience is worth the risk because every game matters in the postseason, and the team cannot have Taillon giving up 5 runs.

A benefit to having Assad in the rotation is the inexperience in a way. Since not a lot of players have seen him, they are more likely to look uncomfortable at the plate. That is a good advantage that the team can use. Also, veterans like Hendricks and Taillon can give him advice and tips to approach the playoff atmosphere.

Overall, it looks like the Cubs found a new addition to their rotation and a dark horse to their playoff push. If Assad can continue being consistent for the rest of the season and the playoffs, then it seems to me that they can bring them into a full-time role even with Stroman back. It would strengthen the weak spot of this team at the time that they would need it the most.

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