When the Chicago Cubs' baseball department gives their updates at the Cub Convention on Saturday, the biggest focus will be on what the team's plan is moving forward as they shift from the final years of their rebuild toward returning to contention at the Major League level.
Taking a look at the moves that the Cubs have made this offseason, it is clear that general manager Carter Hawkins has more influence in his role than Jed Hoyer did when he was under Theo Epstein. When Hoyer was the general manager of the Cubs, Epstein, as the team's president of baseball operations, had the final say on all baseball decisions. With Hawkins now in Hoyer's role and Hoyer in Epstein's role, there appears to be more of a unified approach.
That is not to say that there was a schism between Epstein and Hoyer but more so to point out that Hawkins' thumbprint is definitely on the construction of the Cubs' roster. The Cubs have prioritized run prevention through the way of focusing on pitcher development and improving their fielding. That is the same formula that the Cleveland Guardians, Hawkins' former team, have perfected, and through that, they have been a consistent contender in the American League.
Chicago Cubs pitching prospects offer hope
If there is one drawback of how the Cubs' pitching staff has progressed, they are still a group that depends on ground ball outs as opposed to missing hitters' bats. While that is a model that can translate to success at the Major League level, especially when a team like the Cubs emphasizes defense up the middle of the field. there still is a need for a team to have a pitcher that can strike hitters out when need be. Taking a look at the emerging pitching prospects for the Cubs, there is reason to be excited.