The Cubs' Medium-Term Starting Pitching Depth, Chatwood, and Other Bullets

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The Cubs’ Medium-Term Starting Pitching Depth, Chatwood, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Weird week, huh? You can’t quite say it was still part of the holiday break, but I can tell you from the roads around town that a lot of people are not working and/or are on vacation this week. Makes sense to me if you can pull it off, especially with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day falling on Monday and Tuesday. Depending on your job, you could use three days of vacation and wind up with 11 consecutive days off!

  • We referenced it last night with respect to the (probable) Brad Mills hire, but here’s the full Kendall Graveman interview with MLB Network Radio, which is interesting for the way Graveman is thinking about how to best use this rehab year:

  • Here’s hoping he does the physical part of the rehab and recovery well, and then connects closely with the Cubs’ pitching infrastructure in the meantime, so he’s really ready to roll in 2020 as a pitching option for the Cubs. You’d love to believe the Cubs will have a number of internally-developed options to start by next year (Alzolay? Steele? Lange? Thompson? Uelman? Abbott? Swarmer?), but obviously that hasn’t worked out in years past. So. Yeah. Nice to have Graveman in your back pocket, just in case. (The Cubs can also control Graveman for 2021, too.)
  • The Cubs will still have Tyler Chatwood under control for 2020, too! I kid, obviously, but baseball is so stupid and beautiful and unpredictable that stuff like Chatwood breaking out in 2019 happens every year. You hope that it happens for a guy on “your” team, and someone coming back from the depths of Chatwood’s wildness is exceedingly rare, but it does happen. That said, I still think a big hurdle to a shocking bounceback for Chatwood – aside from the obvious hurdle of him fixing the issues – is going to be him actually getting enough starts to show he could do it. On the starting depth chart right now, you’d have to have Chatwood no higher than 7th (behind the front five and Mike Montgomery). Yes, you need a 7th starter in a typical season, but how often does that guy get a chance to make 20+ starts? Also, can the Cubs really carry Chatwood in the bullpen as a total non-contributor until that need develops? I have trouble seeing it, but then, it’s not like the Cubs have filled their bullpen coffers this offseason to overflowing levels. (Yet.)
  • That is among the reasons why finding a bad contract swap for Chatwood sooner rather than later should be a priority. But, hey, who knows. Maybe having some new voices in the organization and in different roles will help Chatwood do the clean slate thing.
  • Man I loved this game:

  • Bonus from that game against the Padres, aside from the late-game magic? Tyler Chatwood got the start, going five innings and allowing just three runs and three walks.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • That’s what it takes to get Javy – massive grunting:

  • My God. How bad do things have to be with Tampa Bay for Cardinals fans to get this much love by comparison …

  • Also … I’m pretty sure Rays fans hate Tommy Pham now. He certainly burns his bridges early.
  • Pots and pans, protein, and Turbo Tax are among the deals of the day at Amazon today.
  • Also, a personal thing. I remember when Jeff Kennard appeared in a Spring Training game for the Cubs, and I was like, holy crap, I played baseball with that guy in high school! I don’t know him beyond that, but I still want to share this:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.