This Post is an Appreciation of Mark Leiter Jr.

Social Navigation

This Post is an Appreciation of Mark Leiter Jr.

Chicago Cubs

It wasn’t that long ago that the Chicago Cubs made the tough decision to let reliever Mark Leiter Jr. go. The 40-man roster was crunched, and although Leiter had been very good in relief in 2022, he was without minor league options. The Cubs rolled the dice on being able to get him back on a minor league deal.

That dice roll worked out, and Leiter – who won a job in the bullpen in Spring Training – has been lights out so far this year. I reckon some other teams out there are kicking themselves. Not only has Leiter given up no runs so far this year, he’s struck out 46.2% of the batters he’s faced. He’s been incredible.

Leiter showed it off this weekend, first with a strike-out-the-side performance on Saturday:

And then with two huge strikeouts on Sunday:

That split-finger changeup is just so brutal on lefties. If he executes it well and they bite, there is just no chance. Even with lefty Brandon Hughes in the bullpen now, Leiter might remain the top option against left-handed batters. He’s just been so good.

Speaking of which, ever since Leiter moved permanently into the bullpen last year with the Cubs back in July 2022, he’s been great: 2.29 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 39.1 IP, 30.7% K rate, 9.2% BB rate.

More or less, that’s all this post is. I just wanted to appreciate how good Leiter has been, and be thankful that the Cubs have him in the bullpen right now.

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.