Cubs: 3 ways the season has gone wrong and 2 ways it's gone right

Chicago Cubs v Houston Astros
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Cubs: 2 ways the season has gone right: #2 - Marcus Stroman and Justin Steele have emerged as a legitimate one-two punch atop the rotation

We all hoped Justin Steele would follow up his breakout second half from last season with a strong start to the 2023 campaign, but he's taken things to another level altogether.

In a dozen starts, the left-hander has a 2.65 ERA and 2.84 FIP - proving himself as a long-term piece of the Cubs' starting rotation plans. It seems he avoided a worst-case scenario with his latest injury scare, which has been diagnosed as a left forearm strain, but if Chicago wants to keep its fleeting postseason hopes alive, they'll need him back healthy and effective soon.

The bigger story, perhaps, has been the work of Marcus Stroman - the reigning National League Player of the Week. The veteran right-hander, who has expressed a desire to stay with the Cubs long-term, could also be one of the most valuable arms available via trade at the deadline and a key free agent next winter.

The problem here is that, after Steele and Stroman, with the exception of Drew Smyly, Cubs starters have been wildly inconsistent. Jameson Taillon's latest start offered maybe a slight glimmer of hope after a disastrous start to the year and having Hendricks back is nice, but Chicago will need far more from the back of the rotation if it hopes to turn the season around.