Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/23/15
It would be awfully hard to look at one single problem the Chicago Cubs and say if the team fixes that, it’ll be on its way. The offense can be inconsistent and not always score runs. As of Monday, the team is batting .231 as a unit, good enough for 25th best in MLB. The starting pitching has a 3.79 ERA, 15th best in the game, but that’s mostly because of the performances of Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and Jason Hammel. The same could not be said for Edwin Jackson and especially not for Carlos Villanueva. The latter has an ERA+ to the tune of 37 and his WHIPs 2.211. His contract is up this year and at his current rate, the Cubs could not possibly think it’d be a good idea to bring back Villanueva for next year. The Chicago Cubs need fixing, most notably the bullpen. However, perhaps the biggest reason the team is 8-16 and 9.5 games out of first place in the NL Central could be credited to the bullpen. For all the criticisms wins and losses gets, the team’s bullpen is 1-5 this season. Don’t blame Hector Rondon for that. He has more than done his job and is deserving of a shot at closer. Don’t believe me? Ask the Milwaukee Brewers, whom he struck out the side in the bottom of the 9th on Sunday to finish out a 4-0 win for the Cubs. I hope I mentioned the Brew Crew has the best record in all of MLB. Justin Grimm hasn’t looked as dominant as Rondon has, but he’s allowed only one run in 11 innings pitched in 2014. The problems lie within someone like Jose Veras, whose ERA+ is 25 and WHIP 2.824. He was the team’s closer going into the season and a sore left oblique has earned him a spot on the 15-day disabled list. It is going to seem like a pipe dream for the team to pick up his club option for next season if he doesn’t clean up his numbers once he gets back. Though not to extent Veras has, Brian Schlitter has been a problem too and the club just recalled him from AAA Iowa. James Russell has not been as reliable as he has been in the past. So how can all of this be solved? Good question. For one, if Veras isn’t on thin ice already, he should be. He’ll have to find a new home if this continues. Kyuji Fujikawa is hoping to return soon from Tommy John surgery, though it hasn’t happened yet and like Veras, he is a free agent at season’s end. The Cubs wouldn’t be wise to bring him back unless he is lights out if and when he returns. Darren O’Day of the Baltimore Orioles is a free agent at season’s end. He has been very reliable the past couple of seasons. Now, he has had some struggles in April. The WHIP is 1.500, which needs to go down. However, even though teams are getting hits off of him, they aren’t getting that many runs off of him. If available, the Cubs may want to consider giving him a shot if they can convince him to sign with the club. Veras and Fujikawa gone with O’Day in could lead to a more productive bullpen in 2015. For now, the best option would be Rondon at closer. He has earned it. Grimm has looked nice enough. O’Day’s former teammate in Baltimore, Pedro Strop, has been mostly reliable despite some outings of blemishes. These three are whom the Cubs should mostly look to out of the pen, with Russell needed as a left handed arm. If the bullpen improves, then the team could at least start to win more games. Read more Chicago Cubs news and opinion at http://isportsweb.com/mlb/chicago-cubs/ The post Chicago Cubs: Solving the bullpen problem appeared first on isportsweb.
PLAYERS: Pedro Strop
TEAMS: Chicago Cubs
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Ohio State dog urinates on Michigan fire hydrant

Gregg Marshall is staying at Wichita State

Bengals troll Browns with April Fools’ Day joke

Malcolm Jenkins on McCoy trade: Could've gotten more

Does Romo restructure pave the way for Peterson?


Todd Gurley: 2015 NFL Draft Profile

Colts' Robert Mathis hopes to be back by training camp

LeBron thought Kyrie was a ballhog when season started

Muhammad Ali rooting for a Pacquiao win over Mayweather

Report: Cowboys to restructure Tony Romo's contract

Blake Griffin frustrated with lack of fan support at home

Report: Boston mayor furious over Olympics rumors

Ravens commit tampering violation, show it on Twitter

Lightning won’t sell playoff tickets to non-Florida residents

Brad Stevens dismisses Texas rumor

Albert, Costas and Michaels to work together for the first time

A’s closer buying tickets to fill stands at LGBT Pride Night

13 U.S. senators call on FIFA to strip Russia of 2018 World Cup

The San Antonio Spurs are beautiful again

Auriemma blasts men’s college basketball: ‘The game is a joke’

Westbrook: I'm not Angry Man off the court, I'm a chill guy

Fourth man sentenced in 2007 killing of Sean Taylor

Players who could have their arbitration years bought out

Cubs News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dark horse Cy Young candidates

Final Four fact or fiction

Why WrestleMania 31 was an all-time great

Five worst QB situations in NFL

WATCH: Curry drops CP3 with crossover

Durant wants to spend career in OKC

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Top 20 players in the Final Four

Report: Tiger's plane spotted in Augusta

Moss shares story on meeting Deion

Five coaches already on the hot seat

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.