The Chicago Cubs have been seen as a team that is piling up top prospect after top prospect. However those prospects are only in the hitting department. Hitting doesn’t win games, it’s pitching as well as defense that wins games.
Theo and company have finally decided that it is time to hunt for the next generation pitchers. Chicago has some pitching prospects in their system, but they are steadily making their way up the ladder, and soon the Cubs will be out of pitching prospects.
On their Major League team, the Cubs had what looked to be a pretty decent rotation on paper at the beginning of the year. Slowly, the rotation has been reduced to two remaining players from the start, and that would be Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood. Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, the Cubs two early stars, are long gone, and pitchers like Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta, and Tsuyoshi Wada have picked up where they left off.
Jake Arrieta is looking like an All-Star compared to his days with the Baltimore Orioles in which he looked like a completely different pitcher. He had a high earned run average in Baltimore, and when he came to Chicago he was injured. After recovery, Arrieta was a new pitcher and has seemed to have found a form that suits him. He has taken no-hitters deep into ball games and hopes to be a centerpiece of the Cubs future rotation.
Travis Wood has always been a reliable pitcher in the Cubs rotation but he has seemed to decline this year compared to his All-Star season last year. Wood is even being used as a pinch hitter and as a pinch runner. Since Wood joined the Cubs, he has been used in the rotation, and it’s safe to say that his place there is secure for right now.
The big signing of the 2013 free agency class, Edwin Jackson, has not lived up to his potential. He was thought to be able to settle down with one team finally for more than a year after being tossed around like a baseball. That is probably one of the things that has gotten him into a steady groove in which he could then be called ‘Mr. Reliable’. By the 2015 season, he will most likely be on his way out.
The free agent bullpen signing for the 2014 season, Jose Veras, was cut shortly after the season began due to what you can call inconsistency and control issues. Veras blew many save opportunities as well as several close games for the Cubs. This was not really a smart signing for the front office.
The Chicago Cubs rotation has had several pitchers come and go. Pitchers like Scott Feldman and Paul Maholm. Aces like Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija, who could have been leaders, all have come and gone. Had the Cubs decided to have just paid them, then the Cubs could have had a great pitching staff.
Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune