What the Chicago Cubs rotation could look like after adding Shota Imanaga

Here is how the Cubs rotation could shake out with the addition of Japanese star Shota Imanaga

World Baseball Classic Championship: United States v Japan
World Baseball Classic Championship: United States v Japan / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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2. Shota Imanaga

As I said, my initial reaction is to slot Imanaga into the second rotation spot. He has excellent swing-and-miss stuff having struck out 188 batters in 159 innings in the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization last year. Imanaga has also traditionally had great command of his pitches making his ERA numbers very stellar (2.66 last year). I would expect that number to balloon a bit given the caliber of hitters will be generally superior in MLB, but hopefully Imanaga can continue to utilize his great command.

With all that being said, I like what I'm seeing in Imanaga's stats and film. His five-pitch mix yields a lot of strikeouts, which is something the Cubs definitely could use more of. He is also a lefty who relies heavily on his slider and splitter in addition to his fastball, with a cutter and curveball in his back pocket. The pitch mix and command from the left side make him a pitcher you don't really see too often and I think his presence in this rotation will work well with the Cubs' strong defense.

At 30 years old, Imanaga also brings a lot of experience to the table, but at a much cheaper contract than Yoshinobu Yamamoto's monster $325 million deal. All in all, this looks like a solid move by the Cubs that will make them more competitive in the division.