Tyler Chatwood Being Prepped as Chicago Cubs’ Fifth Starter

The Cubs haven’t even begun official team workouts yet, but one of the more intriguing position battles may already have been decided. That would be the final spot in the rotation, which figured to come down to one of a group that may have included at least three candidates. And while that could still be the case, pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said Monday in Mesa that Tyler Chatwood is being prepped as the fifth starter.

“He’s put himself in a good spot to be in that role,” Hottovy told Gordon Wittenmyer.


That could mean Alec Mills and Colin Rea will be competing for roles in the patchwork bulk bullpen, though it’s more likely they’ll serve as much-needed rotation depth. The Cubs are going to need all hands on deck to back up an aging rotation that isn’t projected to pile up innings, which could mean using spot starters even as a means of stretching out normal rest.

Switching back to the bullpen, getting a healthy Brandon Morrow could prove to be a huge boost. That’s especially true if Craig Kimbrel experiences a bounce-back. Back with the Cubs on a minor-league deal, Morrow told Wittenmyer he still has some standard “aches and pains” in the right elbow that underwent multiple corrective procedures, but feels stronger when throwing and lifting than he did last year.

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