The Cubs appear to be turning the corner.
Much of the reason for the turnaround has been the re-emergence of the young bats like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro.
However, it is undeniable that the main ingredient to the Cubs recent success has been pitching.
Starting pitching, middle relief, back end of the bullpen; it is all coming together. Yet, we all know the Cubs will still turn around and deal away most of that very strength, and very soon. Am I overly concerned about the drop off? Not at all, at least not in the big picture.
The Cubs will trade starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel soon enough. You may even be able to add reliever Jeff Russell to that list. But fear not, for this front office has proven the ability to do one thing quite well, and that's acquire pitching.
In fact, they have been able to pick up pitching at relatively cheap rates, only to flip those buy-low arms in order to create more of an inventory of pitching moving forward. See Scott Feldman for Jake Arietta.
Speaking of Arietta, he is the poster boy for what I'm talking about here.
I have mentioned recently that pitching coach Chris Bosio is quickly turning into a Dave Duncan/Don Cooper type of pitching guru, one who can perform reclamation projects with the best of them. Arrieta is probably his star pupil to date.
Paul Maholm, Scott Feldman, and now Jason Hammel have all been taken from the free-agent scrapheap and have been or will be flipped on the trade market with a bullet. Throw in the Travis Wood acquisition and we have a pattern here.
Upon examining the Cubs farm system, many point solely to the surplus of young bats. In the same breath, they lament the lack of arms, in terms of both depth and impact talent.
I'm not concerned. The Cubs will continue to boost their inventory of arms with the potential for some deadline-deal returns. Couple that with the Cubs heavy-duty drafting of pitchers after the first round, and I think you will see some breakthroughs soon enough, especially once they get in the hands of Dr. Bosio.
The only irony is that Bosio hasn't been able to get too much more out of the Cubs only free-agent splash in Edwin Jackson. It is not really all that surprising however, as the aforementioned Duncan and Cooper both had their hands on Jackson before and moved on.
Some pitchers are what they are.
I fully expect Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to continue to aquire good value arms, while keeping their eyes on a potential ace to strike at when they can. Don't forget, they made attempts at both Anibal Sanchez and Masahiro Tanaka already.
The Cubs' bats are coming, but as Harry Caray used to say: "What about the pitching?"
Don't worry, these guys have that covered too.
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