It has once again been a long season for the Chicago Cubs, who again find themselves in the cellar of the NL Central. They have been rebuilding for a while now, with some bright spots on their team in Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, but with the mid-season trade of ace their Jeff Samardzija and another starter in Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for the A’s top prospect Addison Russell, it has left the Cubs’ rotation in rough shape.
For the past two seasons, Edwin Jackson has been starting for the Cubs, and for the past two seasons, Jackson has been pitching very poorly in Chicago. In 2013, Jackson struggled with an ERA of 4.98 in 31 starts with a record of 8-18, which was the most amount of losses for one pitcher in MLB that season. Believe it or not, 2014 has been even worse for the 30-year-old veteran right-hander. This season, Jackson is (6-13) with an ERA of 5.74, and it raises the question, how much longer can the Cubs keep Jackson in their rotation?
Jackson has turned out to be an awful signing for Chicago thus far, as he was handed a four-year, $52 million contract after a decent 2012 season with the Washington Nationals. That year, Jackson had a 10-11 record and an ERA of 4.03. With two years left on Jackson’s contract, it is going to make it hard for general manager Theo Epstein to move Jackson, as not too many teams will want to pay a player $22 million over the next two seasons, especially with the way that Jackson has been pitching.
In the farm system, the Cubs are loaded with great hitting prospects like Russell, Kris Bryant and the recently called up Javier Baez, but they are a little thin when it comes to pitching prospects. Out of the Cubs’ top 10 ranked prospects, currently only two of them are pitchers in Arodys Vizcaino and C.J. Edwards. With no real prospects coming up soon in the rotation, and the large size of Jackson’s contract, the Cubs may be stuck with him in the rotation for the foreseeable future.