Cubs Depth Chart—Starting pitching

Northsiders Report takes a look at the Cubs organizational depth chart by position. We’ll begin the series with starting pitchers are work our way around the diamond.

We start the series with starting pitchers and 70 names that showed up in box scores this season. This series serves as an overview and shows where pitchers in the rotation ended 2014 and their stats. You can access their player pages by clicking on their name. MLB stats are through Sept. 22. This is the first in a nine-part series that includes relief pitchers, catchers, first basemen, second basemen, shortstop, third basemen, corner outfielders and center fielders.

Chicago—40-man Roster

The Cubs have flooded their 40-man roster with power bullpen arms and a bevy of starting possibilities. The star of Cubs rotation is RH Jake Arrieta (9-5, 2.65 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 24 GS, 149.2 IP, 2.4 BB/9, 9.4 K/9) while LH Travis Wood (8-13, 5.03 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 31 GS, 173.2 IP, 7.5 K/9, 3.9 BB/9) and RH Edwin Jackson (6-15, 6.38 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 27 GS, 139.2 IP, 4.0 BB/9, 7.9 K/9) have been huge disappointments. RH Kyle Hendricks (7-2, 2.28 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 12 GS, 75 IP, 1.7 BB/p, 5.1 K/9) and LH Tsuyoshi Wada (4-3, 3.22 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 12 starts, 64.1 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 7.4 K/9) have been impressive since their promotion from Iowa.
Jacob Turner (1-3, 6.93 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4 GS, 24.2 IP, 2.1 BB/9, 4.5 K/9), Felix Doubront (2-1, 3.98 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 4 GS, 20.1 IP, 3.1 BB/9, 3.5 K/9) and Dan Straily (0-1, 12.79 ERA, 2.21 WHIP, 1 GS, 10.1 IP, 6.3 BB/9, 8.5 K/9) have all been acquired since July and are in the mix for a starting role next year. Dallas Beeler (0-2, 3.27 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 2 GS, 11 IP) and Eric Jokisch (0-0, 1.74 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 3G, 12.2 IP) both had quality seasons at Iowa and provide depth moving forward. Carlos Villanueva (5-7, 4.64 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 41 G, 75.2 IP) is a free agent at the end of the season and Chris Rusin’s (0-0, 7.11 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 4 G,12 IP) days with Cubs organization may be numbered. Look for the Cubs to dip into the free agent pitching market this off-season but may not be ready to add a big contract. MLB stats are through Sept. 21.

Iowa
Take away the pitchers on the 40-man roster, and there’s not much left in Iowa for starters. Dae-Eun Rhee (3-2, 3.75 ERA, 48 IP), Carlos Pimentel (4-9, 5.35 ERA, 59 IP) and Yoanner Negrin (1-3, 5.34 ERA, 59 IP) all got starts but the trio are free agents at season’s end. Cubs should add some minor league free agent pitching to bolster the AAA roster and organizational depth.

Tennessee
The Cubs top two pitching prospects spent the year in AA but missed part of the season on the DL with injuries—Pierce Johnson (5-4, 2.55 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 18 G, 91.2 IP, 8.9 K/9, 5.3 BB/9) and C.J. Edwards (1-2, 2.44 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 10 GS, 48 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 8.6 K/9). Both have an outside shot at a 2015 call-up but that will depend on health and performance. Edwards will make up for the innings he lost by playing in the Arizona Fall League. Corey Black (6-7, 3.47 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 26 G, 124.1 IP, 5.1 BB/9, 8.6 K/9) led the Smokies in starts and innings and Matthew Loosen (5-5, 5.77 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 106 IP, 5.9 BB/9, 8.2 K/9) took the ball 19 times. Another Smokie pitcher heading to the AFL is Ivan Pineyro (0-4, 5.55 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 11 GS, 48.2 IP, 4.3 BB/9, 7.6 K/9), who missed three months with an arm injury. Felix Pena (2-4, 7.48 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 27.2 IP, 5.5 BB/9, 8.5 K/9) made six starts in AA after beginning the year at Daytona. Pineyro is Rule 5 eligible and could end up on the 40-man roster depending on his AFL season and Black should find his way to Iowa to start 2015.

Daytona
Rob Zastryzny (4-6, 4.66 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 110 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 9.0 K/9) made 23 starts in 2014 but the workhorse of Daytona’s staff was Tayler Scott (8-8, 4.34 ERA, 134.2 IP, 1.44 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 5.3 K/9), a 22-year-old from South Africa. Jose Rosario (5-8, 5.44 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, 26 G, 101 IP, 4.5 BB/9, 8.2 K/9), Nathan Dorris (5-6, 5.91 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 74.2 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 6.4 K/9) Yao-Lin Wang (4-7, 5.57 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 64.2 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 6.7 K/9) and Justin Amlung (4-4, 4.37 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 15 G, 59.2 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 6.8 K/9) were part of a revolving rotation. Juan Paniagua (2-4, 6.14 ERA, 29.1 IP) and Tyler Skulina (0-2, 7. 27 ERA, 8.2 IP) earned a promotion from Kane County but struggled in the FSL. Felix Pena 4-6, 3.19 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 96 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 7.1 K/9) made 19 starts for Daytona and was named a FSL All-Star before his promotion to AA. Several names on this list should find their way to AA next season.

Kane County
Paul Blackburn (9-4, 3.23 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 117 IP, 2.4 BB/9, 5.8 K/9), Duane Underwood (6-4, 2.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 100.2 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 7.5 K/9), Daury Torrez (11-7, 2.74 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 131.1 IP, 1.4 BB/9, 5.6 K/9) and Jen-Ho Tseng (6-1, 2.40 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 105 IP, 1.3 BB/9, 7.3 K/9) were all impressive in their first full seasons and were a huge part of the Cougars championship run. Tyler Ihrig (3-1, 2.30 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 27.1 IP, 1.6 BB/9, 6.6 K/9) and Ben Wells (4-0, 2.30 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 36.1 IP, 6.2 BB/9, 5.0 K/9) were added to the rotation when Skulina (4-7, 3.21 ERA) and Paniagua (6-4, 3.36 ERA) were promoted. Jonathan Martinez (11-5, 3.26 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 129.2 IP) acquired from the Dodgers for Darwin Barney, made five starts but was shutdown due to innings. One things for certain, the starting rotation at Myrtle Beach is going to be stacked and their aren’t enough spots for the arms needing to advance. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tseng jump to AA just due to numbers and his maturity.

Boise
Erick Leal (6-2, 3.73 ERA, 62.2 IP, 1.37 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, 4.5 K/9), Trevor Clifton (4-2, 3.69 ERA, 61 IP, 1.46 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9, 8.0 K/9) and Josh Conway (0-1, 1.96 ERA, 36.2 IP, 0.93 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, 5.9 K/9) all made 13 starts heading the Boise rotation. Trevor Graham (4-4, 5.58 ERA, 50 IP, 1.68 WHIP, 3.4 BB/9, 8.8 K/9) was third in innings pitched for the Hawks while Dillon Maples (0-2, 12.23 ERA, 17.2 IP, 2.77 WHIP, 10.2 BB/9, 6.6 K/9) made six starts after breaking a rib in spring training. 2014 draft picks James Norwood (0-2, 7.00 ERA, 18 IP, 1.28 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 9.0 K/9), Jake Stinnett (0-0, 2.84 ERA, 6.1 IP, 0.79 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 9.9 K/9) and Jeremy Null (2-0, 1.29 ERA, 14 IP, 1.00 WHIP 1.3 BB/9, 7.1 K/9) all made starts in the Northwest League. Should be quite a battle for the five or six starting spots at South Bend during fall instructs and spring training. Several pitchers listed above, along with some on the Mesa roster, will give the Cubs another starting rotation to be dealt with in the Midwest League.

Mesa
With an inning limit for most pitchers (18 different starters in 56 games), its a little hard to project who will eventual be starters but with a little inside info you can get a pretty good idea. Jose Paulino (3-4, 5.98 ERA, 46.2 IP, 1.61 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 8.1 K/9), Alex Santana (3-2, 2.55 ERA, 42.1 IP, 1.18 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 7.7 K/9), Jesus Castillo (1-0, 2.67 ERA, 30.1 IP, 1.45 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 6.8 K/9), Adbert Alzolay (2-5, 8.51 ERA, 24.1 IP, 1.73 WHIP, 4.1 BB/9, 9.6 K/9), and Luis Hernandez (1-1, 5.11 ERA, 24.2 IP, 1.42 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 8.8 K/9) all made their stateside debut. 2014 picks Carson Sands (3-1, 1.89 ERA, 18.2 IP, 1.23 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 9.5 K/9) and Justin Steele (0-0, 2.89 ERA, 18.2 IP, 1.23 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 12.1 K/9) were impressive in their pro debuts and Jeferson Mejia (2-4, 2.48 ERA, 40 IP, 1.18 WHIP, 3.8 BB/9, 10.1 K/9) and his power arm raised expectations. Austyn Willis (0-1, 4.20 ERA, 10 G, 15 IP, 1.33 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9, 5.4 K/9), Jordan Brink (0-1, 13.50 ERA, 3 G, 2.2 IP, 2.63 WHIP, 6.8 BB/9, 10.1 K/9) and Michael Knighton (0-1, 3.38 ERA, 5 G, 8 IP, 1.38 WHIP, 1.1 BB/9, 5.6 K/9) all 2014 picks, got opportunities to start. Marcelo Carreno,(0-1, 4.76, 3 G, 5.2 IP, 1.76 WHIP, 6.4 BB/9, 6.4 K/9) who missed all of 2013 and most of 2014, made three starts as he attempts a comeback after being traded from Detroit for Jeff Baker in 2012.

Dominican Summer League
Oscar De La Cruz (8-1, 1.80 ERA, 14 GS, 75 IP, 1.00 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 7.7 K/9), Jose Morel (5-1, 3.16 ERA, 13 GS, 62.2 IP, 1.21 WHIP, 3 BB/9, 8.2 K/9), and Santiago Rodriguez (8-1, 1.67 ERA, 11 GS, 81 IP, 1.4 BB/9, 7.9 K/9) went a combined 21-3 and could be headed to Mesa soon. Pedro Silverio (4-2, 2.61 ERA, 8 GS, 69 IP, 1.05 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, 6.5 K9), Andri Rondon (3-3, 4.33 ERA, 6 GS, 43.2 IP, 1.51 WHIP, 4.5 BB/9, 6.2 K/9) and Junior Marte (2-2, 3.52 ERA, 6 GS, 30.2 IP, 7.3 BB/9, 7.7 K/9) were part of the starting rotation. Erling Moreno (0-1, 1.08 ERA, 8.1 IP, 1.08 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 6.5 K/9), a piece of the Cubs 2013 international haul, started four games in the DSL and one in the VSL in his first pro season.

Venezuelan Summer League
Enrique De Los Rio (2-5, 3.76 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 14 GS, 67 IP, 1.2 BB/9, 5.6 K/9), Yapson Gomez (6-2, 1.51 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 12 GS, 71.1 IP, 1.0 BB/9, 4.7 K/9) , Harrinson Bermudez (1-5, 5.47 ERA,1.51 WHIP, 12 GS, 51 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 4.2 K/9) and Carlos Rodriguez (0-3, 1.23 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 10 GS, 58.1 IP, 0.8 BB/9, 8.6 K/9) anchored the VSL Cubs rotation, combining for 48 starts. Gabriel Lima (0-2, 4.03 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 7 GS, 29 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 7.4 K/9), Mauro Vides 1-3, 2.73 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 6 GS, 33 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 4.4 K/9), and Moises Ramirez (2-2, 5.06 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 5 GS, 21.1 IP, 1.7 BB/9, 4.6 K/9) also saw time in the rotation. The Cubs sent several players directly from the VSL to Mesa so you could assume some of these names will appear on the roster at extended spring training.


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