As the Cubs prepare for their first Spring Training game this Saturday, we will see a plethora of different pitchers and position players – some you may have never heard of. While it seems that guys like Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. and Justin Grimm are guarantees for spots in the bullpen rotation, here are five guys who I think could see a little time in the Cubs bullpen at some point this season.
- Jake Buchanan
The right-hander from Charlotte appeared in two games for the Cubs last season including a start against the Reds in which he threw five scoreless innings. Buchanan has spent most of his time as a starting pitcher but could be used as a long or mid-reliever if needed.
- Félix Peña
Peña appeared in eleven games for the Cubs last season and finished with an ERA of 4.00 and a WHIP of 0.889. During his span in the Cubs rotation, he struck out 13 batters and only walked three. Peña, a right-hander, could act as an emergency option in case of an injury or a solid replacement for a struggling reliever.
- Duane Underwood
Underwood is the lone player on this list who has yet to make his major league debut. A right-hander from North Carolina, Underwood started 18 games in in four different minor leagues last season. Despite going 0-6, Underwood had a SO/W ratio of 1.77 and had a WHIP of 1.51. It’s not too likely that the Cubs would call the 22-year-old up this early, especially since he’s been primarily used as a starting pitcher, but it could be an intriguing option.
- Gerardo Concepción
Concepción appeared in three games for the Cubs last season as a reliever finishing with an ERA of 3.86 and had a SO/W ratio of 2.00. He appeared in 42 games in both AAA and AA for Chicago where his ERA was a little high at 5.42 in 59.2 IP. Concepción would add a left-hander to the Cubs bullpen alongside Mike Montgomery, Brett Anderson and Brian Duensing.
- Zac Rosscup
If the Cubs want to go with another left-hander in the bullpen, Rosscup could be their guy. After missing the entire 2016 season due to a shoulder injury, he could help provide the Cubs bullpen with added veteran experience. He’s appeared in 61 total games for the Cubs from 2013-2015 with an ERA of 5.40, a WHIP of 1.61 and a SO/W ratio of 1.78.