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Cubs’ Current Rotation Depth Lacks Power Pitching

Mesa Arizona Sign for the Chicago Cubs Baseball team

The Chicago Cubs rotation will have a new look in 2022 (if there is a 2022 season) with the acquisitions of Wade Miley and Marcus Stroman. These acquisitions will bring some much needed veteran stability and leadership. However, the current group is lacking in power pitching, which is a concern given the ragtag group of replacement players taking the field after the 2021 trade deadline saw the departure of the team’s best defenders, Javier Báez and Anthony Rizzo.

The current Cubs rotation depth is as follows:

Kyle Hendricks
Alec Mills
Adbert Alzolay
Justin Steele

Only two of these six pitchers have career strikeout rates above the MLB averages for their tenure in the bigs: Alzolay and Steele. All of them, with the exception of Alzolay, have ground ball rates above the MLB averages.

Alzolay: 3 seasons, 9.6 K9
GB%: 42.7 (MLB averages: 42.7)
K%: 25.5 (MLB averages: 23.1)
GB/FB: 0.78 (MLB averages: 0.76)

Alzolay has the best strikeout rates of the Northsiders’ present rotation depth.

Hendricks: 8 seasons, 7.4 K9
GB%: 46.5 (MLB averages: 43.8)
K%: 20.2 (MLB averages: 21.8)
GB/FB: 0.91 (MLB averages: 0.80)

When Hendricks is on, he is known for his ability to induce soft contact by opposing batters.

Miley: 11 seasons, 7.1 K9
GB%: 48.3 (MLB averages: 43.9)
K%: 18.5 (MLB averages: 21.1)
GB/FB: 0.98 (MLB averages: 0.81)

Miley has the worst strikeout rates of any of the Cubs’ current projected starters.

Mills: 5 seasons, 7.6 K9
GB%: 49.4 (MLB averages: 43.3)
K%: 20.0 (MLB averages: 22.3)
GB/FB: 1.00 (MLB averages: 0.78)

Steele: 1 season, 9.3 K9
GB%: 49.7 (MLB average: 42.7)
K%: 23.8 (MLB average: 23.2)
GB/FB: 1.04 (MLB average: 0.76)

Steele finished his rookie season above the league average in both strikeout and ground ball percentages.

Stroman: 7 seasons, 7.5 K9
GB%: 57.1 (MLB averages: 43.8)
K%: 19.9 (MLB averages: 21.8)
GB/FB: 1.38 (MLB averages: 0.80)

Stroman’s high rate of ground ball contact stands out when reviewing his batted ball percentages.

It is clear based on these numbers that the Cubs’ first order of business should be to find some gloves for the infield once a new collective bargaining agreement is negotiated. It sure would be nice to have a Platinum Glove first baseman and a Gold Glove shortstop to back up these pitchers but good talent is so hard to come by these days…

Featured Image: Mesa Arizona Sign for the Chicago Cubs Baseball team on 8/25/18 by Thomas Trompeter /