Ahead of the start of their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night, the Chicago Cubs made a change to their starting rotation.
The team opted to skip starting pitcher Jameson Taillon's next start and it was a change that lined up Justin Steele to start the final game of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers. Given how crunched the National League Wild Card standings have become, it seems likely that the final game of the season against the Brewers will have some meaning for the Cubs.
But, the Cubs should not stop there with their changes to the starting rotation.
Taillon should be out of the Cubs' starting rotation entirely. That does not mean that Taillon won't have a role in the Cubs' starting rotation this season, it just means that for where the Cubs are in their season, Marcus Stroman needs to be in the starting rotation.
Stroman made his return to the Cubs' pitching staff over the weekend against the Arizona Diamondbacks and he showed signs of being the pitcher that he was during the first half of the season.
In back-to-back outings against the Diamondbacks on Friday and Saturday, Stroman pitched 3 innings out of the bullpen while only giving up 2 hits and striking out 4.
What was most impressive about Stroman's performance over the weekend was that he was able to pitch in consecutive games. The fear for the Cubs was that Stroman would not have enough time to ramp up before the end of the season to return to the starting rotation but that may no longer be valid.
Next week, when Taillon's spot in the rotation is up again, Stroman needs to have that start. That would set the Cubs' post-season rotation up to be some variation of Steele, Stroman, and Kyle Hendricks. For as great as Jordan Wicks and Javier Assad have been, Stroman should be the preference for a post-season start.