Hendricks isn't worried about rotation and neither should you


by - Correspondent -
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Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

CHICAGO --Think back to the Chicago Cubs one year ago and the state of their starting rotation. There were four guys with a locked up position in the rotation. Veterans John Lackey, Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and Kyle Hendricks. Those four guys coming off of a season where they posted a 15.8 combined WAR according to Fangraphs. The fifth spot was going to be an open competition between Eddie Butler, Mike Montgomery, and others. The four pitchers posted a combined 8.9 WAR in 2017. Only three of them qualified as Hendricks did not meet the requirements.

The Cubs are in a similar situation this year with a rotation of four set in; Lester, Hendricks, Tyler Chatwood and Jose Quintana. So there might be some outcry that the Cubs need pitching. They need Arrietta or Darvish. Kyle Hendricks thinks not.

“With the pieces that we have right now, if we were to go into spring training like this, all the answers would lie within the current rotation," Hendricks told the media recently.

Right now the Cubs rotation top four stands as; Lester, Hendricks, Quintana and Chatwood. Those four pitchers posted a combined WAR of 10.2 last year. Quintana with the Sox and Cubs and Chatwood with the Rockies. It’s worth noting too that all the Zips and Steamers projections have all those guys numbers going up in 2018.

Would it be nice to have Jake Arrieta back? You bet. Would Yu Darvish bolster the Cubs rotation? Absolutely. Though I think Montgomery, Drew Smyly or another free agent like Alex Cobb or Jamie Garcia would more than do the trick for this Cubs team. What concerns me is the bullpen and the back half of it. The Cubs main focus should be adding a back-end arm like Greg Holland rather than a big name starter. It would be nice to add a big name starter but it would be a luxury they could do without.

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