Chicago Cubs: Trade deadline acquisitions making big impact

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs Jesse Chavez
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Jesse Chavez was the first of the Cubs’ trade deadline pickups.

On July 19th, the Cubs made their first move of the 2018 trade deadline season by picking up Jesse Chavez from the Texas Rangers. Not only was Chavez the first acquisition, he’s also been the best.

Chavez was pitching well for the Rangers. In 30 appearances, he threw 56.1 innings and compiled a 3.51 ERA. He was eating innings out of the Texas bullpen, and he was doing it pretty successfully.

Since being traded to the North Side, Chavez has gotten better. A lot better.

In 11.2 innings as a Cub, Chavez has a 1.54 ERA, backed by a 10.03 K/9. That’s the best strikeout per nine rate that he’s had since his abbreviated 2012 campaign.

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Since joining the Cubs, Chavez has wisely upped the usage of his cutter from 30.1 percent to 44.3 percent. That pitch has generated an above average 12.8 percent swinging strike rate and an elite 32.9 percent strikeout rate on the season.

Along with an increased strikeout rate, Chavez has also walked fewer batters in Chicago than he did in Texas. His walk rate has fallen from 5.1 percent to 2.3 percent since moving to the National League.

It’s been a small sample size, but Chavez has been phenomenal since joining the Cubs. With a 2.30 FIP and 27.9 percent K-BB percentage, the peripheral numbers don’t point to Chavez regressing anytime soon.