It seems the Chicago Cubs could address their pitching woes through free agency. I trust we’re doing the right thing but the sports writers will let us know.
Let’s face it. Last year, we thought we were looking at the best pitching staff in baseball. Everyone was singing Theo Epstein’s praises because although bold, those quick signings of Brandon Morrow and Yu Darvish startled most into thinking the Chicago Cubs had the best plan for pitching in 2018. So we waited with anticipation, wondering just “how good” our hurlers we’re going to come out for the season.
As in any story that is too good to be true, our anticipation turned to worry when injuries began to pile up. While Cubs closer Brandon Morrow was never a hundred percent healthy even as he signed on the dotted line to come to Chicago, there was still hope that limited use in clutch situations would be all that was needed of the wily veteran. Epstein even discussed limited use knowing full well that Morrow was not “capable” of throwing half the season’s games.
But we trusted.
After all, there Yu Darvish seemed healthy. The right-hander’s main issue seemed to be a lack of concentration or if you want to get even more critical: getting spooked in big games and clutch moments.
Most of this speculation about Darvish came due to his lackluster performance with the Dodgers in the 2017 postseason and not from any Cubs performances. However, as they say, ‘the stink followed Darvish” from sunny L.A. to the Windy City.
Writers quickly jump all over Cubs, Darvish
The microscope was honed in on Darvish and the first signs of trouble were big news in Chicago as writers lined up to lambaste Epstein and company on their offseason moves. Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune tore apart Darvish’s lackluster performances as early as May 3.
In his four starts against teams other than the Brewers, including Wednesday afternoon’s outing against the Rockies in which he piddled down his leg for five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings, Darvish kept alive his streak of failing to complete a fifth inning and now owns a sparkling 12.21 ERA. Congratulations, everybody. In his non-Milwaukee starts, Darvish is more than halfway to the symmetry of a 21.00 ERA for his $21 million average annual salary.
Well, OK then.
Of course, everyone was going to take a bite, this was supposed to be one of the best pitching staffs in the game and it was failing just a month into the season. So when the Cubs start looking at free agency to fix their pitching problems, I can’t help but get excited at seeing what the plan will be this year.
Who will they sign to close the very apparent gaps in the pen? What do they see as their shortcomings? Once the Cubs start signing free agents it will be a lot easier to evaluate how good the pitching will be this year or how quickly the sportswriters are going to attack.