This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
National League Central
Chicago Cubs – Like some others in the division, the Cubs will enter 2021 with a thinner pitching staff than they fielded in 2020. They added Jake Arrieta, and veteran Zach Davies, but subtracted Yu Darvish and Jon Lester. I think Arrieta could be a small upgrade over Lester, but losing a true ace like Darvish is catastrophic. That leaves the top spot to the steady Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks is actually pretty reliable, but soft-tossers like him can be vulnerable because they don't have the raw stuff to overcome mistakes or off days. If he gets just slightly out of sync, things can get ugly, but he has proven he can spot his pitches pretty consistently, so he is generally on top of his game. Arrieta takes the two slot and can be useful when healthy and in sync. Davies, similar to Hendricks with pretty pedestrian stuff, but with lesser command, will be the No. 3. The first three aren't bad, but I think my biggest concern would again be the last couple rotation slots. Alec Mills is the likely fourth starter (not much upside) while the final spot will go to Trevor Williams and/or Adbert Alzolay – neither of whom generate much optimism. Their top pitching prospect, lefty Brailyn Marquez, has a huge arm, but he doesn't yet have the repertoire or command to contribute as a starter.
This is again a major area of concern in my eyes. In June