Recently, Bleacher Report drafted a list Power Ranking the MLB’s Top 10 rotations going into 2018. The Cubs placed at #8, but of course, this was before the Darvish news Saturday. That begs the question, where does Yu put them now?
The top 5, according to BR, were 1. WSH, 2. HOU, 3. CLE, 4. ARI 5. LAD. A stacked lineup of juggernauts. Even though the Cubs bested the Nats in a five game series, I’ll still take their two headed monster of Scherzer and Strasburg, with Tanner Roark running behind them with his pants around his ankles screaming “Wait!” over the Cub’s current rotation. You can’t ever overlook the defending WS champions, especially with a full season of Justin Verlander, one of the best pitchers of this generation. But the Gerrit Cole signing doesn’t scare me one bit. What scares me about Houston is the young guy bringing up the rear of the rotation in Lance McCullers. He was one of my favorite guys to watch in the World Series this year. So the Nats and Astros can stay where they are.
Yu Darvish’s addition puts the Cubs in the 3-5 range, in my opinion. I think the Indians are being overlooked in 2018 because of their blown 2-0 lead in the ALDS against the Yanks. Kluber just might be the best pitcher in the MLB not named Clayton Kershaw right now, and Carrasco, Tomlin, and Bauer are improving every year it seems. It’s pretty much a coin flip here, but I’ll take the Cubs over Cleveland’s rotation going into 2018. Lester->Hendricks->Darvish->Q->Chatwood over guys who almost slice their fingers off with drones in the middle of a World Series run (looking at you Trevor Bauer), sorry if that makes me biased.
So there you have it. It may be steep to say that one guy can move a rotation from #8 to #3, but as we all know, Bleacher Report is not exactly Gospel. I’m excited for a full year of Q, I think Hendricks is going to turn some more heads, and most importantly I think the hunger is back on this team. Rizzo even admitted they were a little complacent in 2017, and the World Series hangover is not a myth, but I don’t blame them for that. Would love to hear some of your guys’ thoughts if you disagree.