August 28, 2018


Since the Cubs acquired second baseman Daniel Murphy, the team is 6-0.
Murphy is hitting .407, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .448 OBP and 0.4 WAR since leading off for the Cubs. He solved two problems: the lead off hitter slot and the weak offensive production. He was the spark plug that ignited the Cubs current six game winning streak.

Cole Hamels has been a godsend to the Cubs rotation. Not only has he taken the place of Yu Darvish, he has pushed the other starters to perform better. In his five starts (all Cub victories), he is 4-0, 0.79 ERA, 0.941 WHIP. As a veteran presence, he took some pressure off Jon Lester to lead a shaky staff into the final two month grind of the season.

On the South Side, the White Sox starting pitchers have a streak of quality starts. Michael Kopech's debut in the rain was impressive, as was his second start. He is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA. But even more impressive has been Carlos Rodon. He has solidified his role as a #1 starter (and was one of the reasons the Sox traded Chris Sale). Rodon is 6-3, 2.70 ERA, 1.007 WHIP. Young starters Reynolaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito have been coming on strong after a rocky first half of the season.

The 2019 rotation is starting to take shape very quickly. A White Sox staff of Rodon, Kopech, Lopez, Giolito and a fifth starter from Carson Fullmer, Dylan Covery, Jordan Stepehns, Tyler Danish or Donn Roach will be solid. After completing the starting pitching part of the rebuild, it should be easier to consolidate the offense when Elroy Jimenez joins the team in late April, 2019.

It is interesting to note that the addition of a player or two can really turn around a ball club with both excitement and enhanced performance.