Chicago Cubs: Three relievers that will fight for a spot in Spring Training

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Javier Assad
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3 relievers fighting for spots - 1. Javier Assad

After being called up, Javier Assad had a fantastic start to his big-league career in 2022. After breaking out in Tennessee with a 2.51 ERA, he was promptly promoted to Iowa and wasted no time, recording a 2.95 ERA in 36.2 IP. He was then called up to the Cubs in late August, where he notched a respectable 3.11 ERA in 37.2 frames. He must improve against left-handed hitters to take that next step forward. In his small sample, he allowed a slash of .290/.397.468 to lefties and was the beneficiary of some good luck overall, as his FIP of 4.49 suggests.

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Assad is now another name on the ever-growing list of options that can spot-start and be used as bulk relief options for the Cubs in 2023. How he performs in Spring Training will be critical to his role with the Cubs next season. Where certain guys are more of a lock to crack the big league roster, Assad will have to prove it, especially if the Cubs add another bullpen piece this winter. He did show that he has plenty of potential in 2022. A scenario where he still starts in Triple-A simply due to the depth the Cubs have isn't hard to envision, but he will undoubtedly get his chance this Spring.