Cubs Corner: Hoyer Worried, NL Central, Cubs Flashback, More

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In today’s edition of Cubs Corner, Cubs President of Baseball Ops, Jed Hoyer, seems suddenly aware of the Cubs pitching issues. Meanwhile, the Cardinals continue to add pieces, while Milwaukee stands pat.

The days are ticking away until Spring Training starts, so let’s jump into it.

Cubs Corner: Hoyer Worried About Pitching

In an article written by Jordan Bastian, the beat writer for the Cubs, he outlines how Jed Hoyer is worried about the Cubs’ pitching depth. Well, no kidding, Jed.

You let Jon Lester walk, buying him out for $10 million (most likely a wise move), and you let Jose Quintana walk as a free agent (questionable, considering his ability to grind when he’s on his game).

Next, Tyler Chatwood walked as a free agent which was criminal, considering how well he’d turned things around, and that he wasn’t seeking Trevor Bauer-like money, and finally you traded Yu Darvish for Zach Davies and some teen-to-twenties rated prospects.

OK, so Zach Davies fills one spot, Kyle Hendricks another, and maybe (emphasis on maybe) Adbert Alzolay takes the third slot. Now, who fills the final two spots in the rotation? Certainly, Trevor Williams will take one, but that still leaves them one short and we haven’t even discussed the bullpen issues yet.

Hoyer remarked, “If there’s an area that sort of — I don’t want to say keeps me up at night — but an area that I wake up in the morning and think about how to deal with, it’s definitely the pitching.”

Jed, there’s an old saying a friend of mine used to use, called the 6 Ps for success: Pre Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. I’m thinking you missed a step here.

Cubs Corner: 2021 Cubs a Fourth Place Team?

I’m as much a diehard fan as you’ll ever meet, but I’m also a realist, and right now, reality says the Cubs are in trouble this season.

The Cardinals have managed to add Nolan Arenado, and they just managed to re-sign Yadier Molina on Monday night. Their pitching remains tough, and despite losing Kolten Wong, they still have plenty of power at the plate.

The Brewers have remained sort of neutral, and the Reds have the ability – even without Trevor Bauer – to pull it together and compete. Personally, I think moving on from David Bell may help the Reds, but that’s yet to be seen.

The Pirates are the Pirates, year in and year out, leaving me to believe it’ll be the Cubs and Reds battling for third and fourth place. Chicago surprised me last year, but as of now, they’re exponentially weaker as 2021 begins.

Cubs Corner: Flashback

The date was June 27th, 2019. The place was Wrigley Field, and my wife, my son and I were there. We’d been looking for just the right Cubs game to attend, as it was their first time at Wrigley, and my first time there in nearly 30 years.

The weather was perfect, but even more importantly, I fugured that Tyler Chatwood would start, and that Craig Kimbrel would make his debut. That only made sense, as the Cubs were playing the Braves and Chicago had rushed the closer through an abbreviated spring training; I was right.

After a see-saw battle that the Cubs and Braves exchange leads, the top of the bottom of the eighth had ended with the Cubs up 9-7. As the Cubs went to retake the field for the top of the ninth, you could hear the music start- “Sweet Child O’Mine” from Guns N’ Roses – Kimbrel’s intro song. The sound was electrifying, the crowd was uncontrollably applauding, and when those bullpen door swung open, the place went berserk.

With Kimbrel looking like the classic version of himself, another roar of applause rippled through the crowd as his arm went out to the side while he took the sign. With two down, Freddie Freeman at bat and the intensity building, Freeman grounded hard to Anthony Rizzo, who’d been playing deep behind first base. Caught up in the moment, Kimbrel forgot to break for first to assist Rizzo, but Rizz had it in the bag – literally.

The Cubs would win the game by a final of 9-7. Chatwood would get the win, while Kimbrel would garner his first save as a Cub. A moment I’ll never forget.

Cubs Corner: Birthdays

Celebrating yesterday were the following ex-Cubs.

Stop back soon for thext version of Cubs Corner!

Follow me on Twitter at @KenAllison18 for more Cubs Corner and other MLB content! Don’t forget to join our OT Heroics MLB Facebook group, and feel free to join our new Instagram – @overtimeheroics_MLB. We’ll see ya there!

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Ken Allison is the senior of two MLB Department Heads, as well as a writer and editor for Overtime Heroics. A life-long MLB fan, he's also written for CubsHQ and had the opportunity to try out for the Chicago Cubs in 1986.