The Chicago Cubs have a savior for their bullpen and he is almost ready

If things continue to go from bad to worse in the Chicago Cubs bullpen, Porter Hodge may be the man who can right the ship.
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The Chicago Cubs have had some rough showings from their bullpen to start the season. They blew an 8-run lead against the Padres last week, Adbert Alzolay has been a little too homer-prone, and Hector Neris has looked like 2024’s Micahel Fulmer.

That being said, there are reasons to remain calm down on the farm and the one that may be the most interesting is Porter Hodge.

Last season, the Cubs aggressively moved Daniel Palencia and Luke Little through the system to try to provide some depth in the bullpen.

They seemed to be doing the same thing this year when they moved Michael Arias out of the rotation and into the bullpen, but the name worth keeping an eye on is one that hasn’t been mentioned much by the experts prior to this week.

Porter Hodge has thrown five innings in the three games he’s pitched so far this year. In those five innings, he has nine strikeouts and has allowed just one hit and no earned runs. 

Porter Hodge could be the next answer for the Chicago Cubs' bullpen.

The problem with Hodge is the problem with every young pitcher and with seemingly every reliever: command.

In his last outing, he walked three batters to bring his total to four in the five innings he’s thrown, and that is a little bit of a higher average than last year when he walked 49 batters in 80.2 innings.

However, out of the bullpen you can live with a little bit of wildness. 

Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic recently answered fan questions (subscription required) and said “When Counsell was asked about Hodge in spring training, the manager immediately noted that he’s someone who stands out because of the stuff.” 

They went on to discuss his repertoire which has seen his velocity tick up considerably as well as the fact that he may be comfortable in the bullpen for the first time this season after it took some time to get used to last year.

If Hodge can limit his walks and maintain his velocity he could quickly become an option for the Cubs at the major league level, especially since he already has a spot on the 40-man roster.