The Chicago Cubs are in a precarious position. They are young, exciting to watch, and sit in the top spot of their division. They are one of the best teams in the National League, and they are poised to make a run for the World Series.
Everyone knows the story of the Cubs. It has been over a century since their last championship. For the last fifteen years, they have been the product of poor luck–infamous Bartman incident–little skill. One of the oldest and iconic franchises in all of baseball was a perennial bottom-dweller in the entire league, stuck in the cellar of last place with no bright future in sight.
That is until the future grew bright. Now on the bats of Rizzo, Bryant, Fowler, and Zobrist, along with the arms of Arrieta, Lester, and Lackey, the Cubs are the team to beat. They are the favorites to win the World Series. There aren’t many weakness with this ball club: they can run, hit, defend, and pitch. It’s the perfect combination for a championship-caliber team.
But there is one weakness, and the Cubs addressed it on Wednesday by acquiring lefty reliever Mike Montgomery from the Seattle Mariners. It has been no secret the extent of the Cubs pitching depth went no further than their rotation. While every other aspect was championship-caliber, their bullpen, their Achilles Heel, had the ability to blow it all away in one crucial moment when the playoffs arrived.
Montgomery will strengthen that weakness. The lefty was enjoying a relatively quiet but effective season with the lowly Chicago Cubs. His 2.34 ERA makes him an immediate go-to guy to bridge the gap between the starters and closer. He has come with an expensive price tag, though. The Cubs gave up emerging stud first-baseman Dan Vogelbach for the return.
Vogelbach is tearing it up at the Triple A level. The 23-year-old out of North Ft. Myers, Florida, was hitting .318 with the Iowa Cubs, slugging 16 home runs in the process. There is no question his bat is his trademark, but he’s projected more as a designated hitter than a first baseman. The Cubs were able to deal him because they have Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber ahead of him in the depth chart.
There is still more to be done to solidify the Cubs’ bullpen, but this is a step in the right direction. There is no better time to win than right now.
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