Competition in the Cubs’ Rotation? Maybe Not.

Now that we’re four games into spring training, it’s time for the worst and least-fruitful discussions to begin: the early looks at “position battles.” The Cubs’ main position battle is for the final two starter spots, which features incumbents Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel—who have the inside edge, to be honest—along with new Cub Adam Warren, […]

MLB: NLDS-St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs

The Cubs Won’t Have a Traditional Rotation in 2016 (And That’s a Good Thing)

In June of 2012, the struggling Colorado Rockies tried something new: a four-man rotation. This experiment was exciting and interesting at the time, but it is now largely forgotten outside of Colorado and the small circle of baseball aficionados who care about things like rotation optimization. The Rockies planned to pitch their starters every four games and […]

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves

The Road They’ve Traveled: George Plimpton, DRA Run Values, and the Cubs Rotation

One of my favorite baseball books is George Plimpton’s 1961 classic, Out of My League. Plimpton, the founding executive editor of the Paris Review—and an enormous baseball fan—took it upon himself to pitch batting practice to the 1958 National League All-Stars a few hours before they took on the Junior Circuit at Yankee Stadium that year. Plimpton […]


DRA, cFIP, and the Cubs Rotation Going Forward

Would it surprise you to learn that Chicago Cubs starters have been among the best in baseball in 2015? If so, it shouldn’t. Their 3.38 staff ERA ranks fifth in the game. Their 3.22 FIP is second, as is their strikeout rate. They have walked fewer batters, as a percentage of the total they have […]