What the Cubs Can Do to Fix the Bullpen

What the Cubs Can Do to Fix the Bullpen 1
Sep 17, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards (6) reacts after giving up a home run to Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana (background) during the eighth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
What the Cubs Can Do to Fix the Bullpen 2
The Cubs Bullpen has had some trouble this year after coming off a year in which they were one of the best in the league

The Probelm

The Cubs Bullpen hasn’t been as sharp as it once was, right now their ERA of 4.39 ranks as sixteenth in the major leagues, so what can the Cubs do to fix it while Morrow and Montgomery recover from injury?

Utilize Chatwood

What the Cubs Can Do to Fix the Bullpen 3
Chatwood during his start against the Angels earlier this April

Not too long ago this would have sounded stupid but after the recent very strong outings by Tyler, he seems to be worthy of pitching more innings. Before his start against Angels, Chatwood only appeared in one game and he seemed shaky. But now the Cubs could really benefit from using him more. Especially after what we saw from him against the D-Backs last Sunday. His stuff looks as good as it ever was during his tenure with the Cubs and he seems to have figured out his walks issue (for the most part). The starting rotation is a bit full at the moment so the Cubs can really only use him out of the pen.

Call Up Some Younger Guys

What the Cubs Can Do to Fix the Bullpen 4
Colin Rea, of the Iowa Cubs, has set himself apart from other relievers after the first month of the season

While some pitchers in the minors have done pretty badly (Duensing and Duane Underwood Jr.) other names have been quietly good and could help the Cubs more than Allen Webster, dude is garbage. Right now Colin Rea has done pretty well. In 22 innings he has 22 K’s. Cory Abbot of the Tennessee Smokies has an ERA of 2.86 through 28 innings. So while the Cubs farm system isn’t loaded it is certainly not empty.

Sign Free Agents

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While his beard is quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever seen, Kimbrel is still a great reliever and somehow is still available.

Craig Kimbrel is the obvious big name but it won’t be wise to use up what is potentially left of the Cubs funds. Other names include Ryan Madson and Joaquin Benoit. The Cubs could offer some cash to those guys but this is definitely their last resort.

Trade

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Addison Russell, once an all star, is now the odd man out on this Cubs team. Throw in his controversies too and his future isn’t bright.

The Cubs may possibly trade some guys in order to get some help. Addison Russell doesn’t really seem to have a spot with the emergence of David Bote and Daniel Descalso. Russell isn’t really highly coveted but I’m sure the Cubs could pick up a decent reliever like Alex Colome or Mychal Givens. The Cubs could also trade Montgomery to a middle of road team without too much starting pitching. The White Sox and Indians seem to be the most likely candidates and could give up a reliever for him. Theoretically the Cubs could give up anyone but those two seem to be the most likely trade bait because they don’t seem to fit on the team right now.

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