Chicago Cubs

How can Chicago Cubs fix their bullpen problems?

The Chicago Cub are rolling, but they need to fix their bullpen for their impending playoff run

In this truncated MLB season caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, one of the more surprising stories is the immediate success of the Chicago Cubs.

The team currently sits at 13-3, where they have a commanding 6.5 game lead in the NL Central as of this writing. Not to mention Chicago’s coming off a winter where they lost more players than they added, which was very un-Cubs like. Plenty of credit can be given to their stars like Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, as well as new manager David Ross.

Despite this success, the Cubs have one glaring problem that could potentially hold them back from making the World Series this fall. Of course, we’re talking about their bullpen. How can the team fix this issue prior to the end of the regular season? We’ll provide the perfect plan.

The easiest solution is to trade for a bullpen arm

The Cubs don’t have the luxury of adding a relief pitcher on the open market, considering there aren’t great options available there anyway.

This could be counterintuitive for the Cubs, who have dangled Bryant this past offseason in hopes of replenishing the farm system. But president of baseball operations Theo Epstein must realize that this is the team’s last chance to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy. It’s time to capitalize it.

When looking ESPN’s closer report, Zach Britton of the New York Yankees and Liam Hendricks of the Oakland Athletics rank as the best closers in the league currently. Considering they’re both on squads destined to clinch a spot in the postseason, they’re virtually untouchable. But there are two options that the Cubs could consider.

Trevor Rosenthal of the Kansas City Royals has been extremely impressive this season. Rosenthal missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Last season, he bounced around from the Washington Nationals to the Detroit Tigers, and he was a liability on both squads.

The Royals gave Rosenthal a shot this offseason by signing him to a minor league deal, before selecting him to their major league roster. That was a genius move for manager Mike Matheny, as Rosenthal has been stellar against the opposition.

Through nine games, Rosenthal has successfully converted on all four of his save opportunities, while he has a 1.00 ERA and an impressive 0.89 WHIP! In fact, opposing batters have batted .167 against the veteran pitcher.

If the Cubs can’t get Rosenthal, then Trevor Gott could be a quality target for the team. He’s currently on the San Francisco Giants, who are overall a pretty mediocre baseball team in 2020. However, Gott is one of their bright spots.

In six games, Gott has saved four games (100.0 save percentage), while accumulating a 1.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.

These pitchers aren’t the must well-known, but that could work in the Cubs favor. Chicago won’t have to surrender top-tier prospects for either pitcher and they can instantly reap the benefits. At this stage of the game, this is the best way the Cubs can bolster their bullpen prior to the start of the postseason.

It’s better than waiting for Craig Kimbrel to find his stuff, because that’s more of a chore than anything.

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