The Fifth Element…Of the Cubs Rotation, That Is

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With the Cactus League exhibition slate about to start for the Chicago Cubs this Saturday, we got our first glance at how the pitching matchups would look to get the ball rolling…

I think the fact that the Cubs have so many guys ready to step in if one of the Big Four pitchers goes down or needs a breather is very encouraging.  We aren’t going to fool ourselves into thinking that the fifth starter arsenal would be anywhere near as effective as the Big Four, but the depth is certainly welcome as the front office knows it can’t rely on pure luck forever.  Joe Maddon has also been very good in the past two years in making sure his pitchers have plenty of rest to save their bullets for the important October/early November run.  The two guys mentioned above are going to be key for the pitching staff this season, but there are plenty of other options waiting in the wings, as I’ve said (and you can read Andy’s analysis here), although they can stay in Iowa for now given their remaining options and all the other guys not already on the 40-man roster.

It certainly helps that the two main competitors for the fifth spot, Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery, can both switch back and forth between the rotation and bullpen assuming health and all that.  This means that Maddon can bump one of his front four back a day every now and then to preserve their health and effectiveness, and he can also have one of Anderson or Montgomery pitch in one game of the occasional doubleheader without missing a beat.  I am eager to see how this shakes out!

 

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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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