Hey all, been a while. I got depressed by the Cards near miss, then even more depressed when the Cubs won. Due respect to them, though, they got the job done (in spite of their 184 million dollar free agent, Jason Heyward, who contributed good D and nothing else. Remember when everyone wanted to re-sign him?)
Now it’s time to move on to next season, and put the Cubs title in the rear view mirror and move on to us possibly being the ones celebrating next year.
How do we get there?
Let’s start with the starting pitching today, because in my opinion, that’s the most important thing we need to fix.
At the top, we’re set with Carlos Martinez, who had steadily developed and is now our ace. Slotting in at #2, in my opinion, would be Alex Reyes, who showed good flashes of potential.
Beyond that? I’m not sure. Other than Martinez, our regular SP all had ERA’s over 4.60. I don’t care how many homers you hit, that’s hard to overcome.
What is Adam Wainwright now? He’s not an ace anymore, at least not based on last year. Could he bounce back? Possibly, given that 2015 was an injury-shortened year, and he had a very good year in 2014. Rust may have been a factor, as he struggled early then stabilized in July. However, he struggled again late in the season. Too much work right after an injury, possible as well. Is age catching up? There are so many questions and possibilities, really the only way to find out is to send him out there again next year. I’d slot him in at #3 and see how it goes.
As for the rest..We have Mike Leake, Michael Wacha, and the return of Lance Lynn. I’d slot Leake in fourth, then split the 5th spot between Wacha and Lynn. Wacha struggled last year, so ease his load and the pressure on him while working to fix what issues at the same time. Plus splitting Lynn’s load allows him to ease is way back into the rotation without having a full load. He just missed an entire season, so I think it’s important to tread carefully.
If Lynn was ready for a full load, I’d almost say slot him in at 4th, Wacha in 5th, and make Leake a swingman, contract notwithstanding, as Wacha has more upside at this stage.
There are my thoughts on the rotation, what are yours?
As always, thanks for reading.