Chicago Cubs News: Roenis Elias dazzles in another Winter League start

Michael Brakebill
Minnesota Twins v Seattle Mariners
Minnesota Twins v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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For those not keeping up with the Dominican Winter League games, Chicago Cubs' new minor league signee, Roenis Elias, has been thriving this winter. Going into tonight, Elias had a 0.98 ERA with 39 IPs. He did give up a home run on the evening and was pulled one out shy of a quality start due to pitch count, but he finished with a line of 5.2 frames, five hits, one walk, 1 earned run, and 9 Ks. He wound up raising his ERA to a still-beyond-stellar 1.02 ERA.

Elias had previously gone 31.2 innings without allowing a run, recording 33 punchouts. Though his scoreless streak was broken, he still has allowed just one run in 37.1 innings of work. The hot streak that we've witnessed is why the Cubs picked him up on a minor-league deal, and not that the DWL has the same level of competition as the MLB; Elias has still been so utterly dominant that the success that's seeing should have no problem translating at least somewhat.

Elias is yet another pitcher that can fill a starting role when called upon. He’s made 20+ starts twice in his career in 2014 and 2015, respectively. He’s now started eight games in the DWL for the Aguilas Cibaenas, amassing at least 5 innings in his last six games.

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The next step for Elias after the DWL concludes will be seeing what he is made of in Spring Training and if he can break camp with the big league team. Even if he raised his ERA another two whole numbers, that would be the type of production that could earn him a spot in the Cubs bullpen this Spring. The cubs currently only boast Brandon Hughes as their only lefty. Assuming the Cubs land Eric Hosmer in the coming days, look for the front office to shift its focus to fortifying the bullpen with another veteran lefty.

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