#2 How will the young starting pitchers perform?
Sure, it’s just the spring and not like we’re holding anyone to Wins and Losses in March. However, a forward-looking indicator may be if Carson Fulmer, Reynaldo Lopez, and Lucas Giolito log solid innings without taking significant amounts of punishment. They’ll be working on things which is what the spring is about, but the degree of success versus failure may well extend into the season and could play into the club’s decisions who to break camp with and what the starting rotation looks like.
ANSWER – With young pitchers meaning – for the most part – Giolito, Lopez, Fulmer, Michael Kopech, Dane Dunning and Dylan Cease, overall very good. Giolito, Dunning, and Cease I would describe as very solid. Giolito truly looks ready. Dunning was surprisingly solid and consistent facing Major League hitters. Cease looks absolutely lights out. (Cubs fans will one day realize Eloy Jiminez is not the only player they regret losing in the Jose Quintana trade…).
On the other hand, Fulmer had a difficult spring before tossing 4 no-hit innings against the Diamondbacks and then 5.1 IP allowing one earned run in his final B-game start against the Rangers. Kopech pitched moderately well until getting shelled in his final start before being assigned. Lopez pitched relatively well in the first two innings of each start only to be touched in mid-innings. Pitching emerged to clearly be the talent core driving the rebuild, and all in all the starters look capable and ready to be tested.