Our 2017 Chicago Cubs preview sees a team that has a great rotation, a well stocked bullpen, and a group of young hitters that could be better than they were in 2016.
The bullpen has five solid relievers. Free agent closer Aroldis Chapman, who came from the Yankees to Chicago in a midseason trade, is back with the Bronx Bombers. The Cubs solved the closer problem by trading for Royals’ closer Wade Davis (R, 2-1 W/L, 1.87 ERA, 27 SV). He’s a welcome and needed addition. Setup man Hector Rondon (R, 2-3 W/L, 3.53 ERA) and middleman Pedro Strop (R, 2-2 W/L, 2.85 ERA) are both young and good. Additional help will come from quality hurlers Justin Grimm (R, 2-1 W/L, 4.10 ERA) and Carl Edwards Jr. (R, 0-1 W/L, 3.75 ERA). Edwards 37.7% strikeout rate was second in the NL.
Hitting and Fielding
The outfield includes leadoff man and World Series hero Kyle Schwarber (.000 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI) in left. It’s expected that Schwarber will be fully healed from his ACL injury and ready to impress once again in 2017. In right, Ben Zobrist (.272 BA, 18 HR, 76 RBI) will play right while Albert Almora Jr. (.277 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI) will patrol center with his expansive speed and range. Almora is a top fielder but he can be inconsistent at the plate.
Coaching and Management
How good of a manager is Joe Maddon? He’s so good that he can make key mistakes in big World Series games and still win the series. Overall, he’s a very fine tactical manager who’s able to keep everyone loose. Plus, he’s got one of the best group of coaches in MLB. President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein proved himself with the Red Sox and now has done the same with the Cubs. He’s one of the best around at recognizing exactly what a team needs to succeed.
2017 Chicago Cubs Preview Final Word
Our 2017 Chicago Cubs preview sees this team as being bound for another division title in 2017. The Cubs have everything that they require to succeed and to survive a long baseaball season. There’s talent, depth, youth and experience.