The Chicago Cubs were never going to be in the playoff race in 2022, but this was still an important season for the franchise. The Cubs needed to spend 2022 looking to try and identify pieces for the future, and that is exactly what has taken place.
Most of the fans knew about some of the up-and-coming young talent in the Cubs system, and some of the top prospects still aren’t even here. The biggest surprise in 2022, though, has been the emergence of some future pitching stars.
No, the Chicago Cubs aren’t trotting out future Cy Young Award winners every time out, but there are some really good-looking arms in Chicago. The Chicago Cubs have spent the last few years trying to develop pitchers, and it appears as if it’s starting to pay off.
Javier Assad is the most recent young pitcher to make his way to the Cubs, and he pitched a gem against the New York Mets on Monday night. This was also a big year for Justin Steele and Keegan Thompson.
There are still going to be some veterans that remain a part of this rotation moving forward as well, and it’s starting to look like the Cubs might have too many starting pitchers. This isn’t typically a problem that teams complain about, but perhaps the Cubs can start flipping pitchers for help at other positions.
If the Cubs are going to compete in 2023 and beyond, then it could be due to the depth of the pitching staff.
Who Catches Them?
When Willson Contreras wasn’t traded away at the beginning of August, there were some mixed emotions from Cubs fans. It felt like the Cubs missed out on a chance to get a nice return for their veteran, but this also potentially meant that Contreras was going to stay in Chicago for a long time.
An extension hasn’t happened since that time, and it’s starting to feel like the Cubs are simply going to let their All-Star catcher walk. An argument could be made for moving on from Contreras, but the Cubs don’t have a clear backup at that position.
If Hoyer needs to find a catcher for 2022, then that’s just more work, and more money that has to be spent.
No More Rebuilding?
Jed Hoyer has been open about the future plans of the Chicago Cubs in recent weeks, but Cubs fans know that he isn’t fully in charge of the money. That’s why it was important when owner Tom Ricketts spoke recently about the plans.
Ricketts was a bit more discreet when talking about the future, but it was clear that he wants to win titles again. If Ricketts is willing to open up his checkbook and give Hoyer some money to spend then, this rebuild might be over next year.
The pitching is usually the hardest aspect to figure out, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a problem for the Chicago Cubs this season.
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