This isn’t really a surprise but adding a top-notch pitcher in Yu Darvish helps the Cubs starting rotation a lot. So much, TheScore.com ranks the Cubs Starting Rotation the 2nd best ahead of Spring Training. Here is what they said about the Cubs Rotation:
“The Cubs began their offseason by adding 28-year-old Tyler Chatwood on a three-year deal as rotation depth. However, their winter seemed a bit incomplete if they entered the 2018 campaign with either Mike Montgomery or Eddie Butler occupying the fifth spot in the rotation.
The Cubs completed their offseason by recruiting Darvish. While the club may lack a true ‘ace,’ Lester, Quintana, Darvish, and Hendricks have shown flashes of ace potential during their career. Meanwhile, Chatwood played an integral role in the Rockies’ ability to crack the National League wild card last year.”
Checking in at number one on their list was the reigning-champion Houston Astros who added Gerrit Cole this offseason. There is one knock with their rotation and that is the Cubs starting five might be just as good or better than any rotation in baseball. The rotation with Yu Darvish now will look something like this:
Looking just at those five without including the possibility of Mike Montgomery, Eddie Butler, or Adbert Alzolay is basically a knockout punch to any playoff team.
Last postseason showed the Cubs needed more starting pitching depth after all five starters were burned out from the Nationals series. You could see that in the National League Championship Series against Los Angeles, where the Cubs turned to Jose Quintana in Game One. If they had five starters plus three bullpen guys who could get the job done, there would be no reason for the Cubs not to repeat. Of course, that did not happen, but all the questions regarding the starting rotation have been answered for the Cubs.
This is a revamped rotation that will carry the Cubs well into the playoffs, into the NLCS, into the World Series, and probably win the World Series. Just, for example, you can have Jon Lester start Game One, Kyle Hendricks in Game Two, Yu Darvish in Game Three, and Jose Quintana in a Game Four to deliver the knockout punch. Let’s say one of these pitchers go cold, you still have Tyler Chatwood who is a number two starter somewhere else deliver in Game Five. If Joe Maddon isn’t comfortable with Chatwood in that Game Five, he can go back to Jon Lester or Kyle Hendricks who have had enough rest to deliver another quality start. That’s how scary this Cubs starting rotation will be this season.