Projected Chicago Cubs 26-man roster and ZiPS projections for 2022

(Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs, Marcus Stroman
Chicago Cubs Marcus Stroman (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs should have a really good pitching rotation for the 2022 season.

Pitchers (12)

Starting Pitchers (5)

  • Marcus Stroman
  • Kyle Hendricks
  • Wade Miley
  • Adbert Alzolay
  • Alec Mills

The splash of the offseason thus far for the northsiders, Marcus Stroman, and the Cubs feels like a match made in heaven. The 30-year-old righty pitched well on a disappointing Mets team last season. Stroman compiled a 3.02 ERA and led the league with 33 starts with a 7.9 K/9. He’ll get vaulted to the front of the Cubs rotation ahead of Kyle Hendricks.

Speaking of, Hendricks had a rough 2021, posting a career-worst 4.77 ERA, but the Cubs rotation, as a group, finished with the fourth-worst ERA (5.27) in baseball. The 32-year-old posted a career-low 16.7 strikeout percentage while opponents squared up his changeup to the tune of a .268 average and eight home runs.

Wade Miley landed in the Cubs’ laps this offseason. Literally. After two seasons in Cincinnati, the Reds placed the 35-year-old on waivers in November. With the Cubs needing pitching help, the decision was quite simple.

Miley posted solid numbers last season, spinning a 3.37 ERA in 28 starts with a 6.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. If he posts similar numbers in 2022, you can’t ask much more from your No. 3 starting pitcher.

Predicting the back end of the Cubs rotation is tricky, but Adbert Alzolay is probably penciled in after a shaky full season’s workload. The 26-year-old was once considered one of the best Cubs’ pitching prospects, but he’ll need to work back toward that goal this season. In 2021, Alzolay posted a 4.58 ERA, serving up 25 home runs but also a 9.2 K/9.

Again, tough to predict, but Alec Mills probably gets another look as the No. 5 starter. He, too, had a rough 2021 campaign, posting a 5.07 ERA in 32 games, including 20 starts, allowing 16 home runs.

ZiPS: 170.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 148 SO, 47 BB, 3.78 FIP. . 9. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. SP. Marcus Stroman. player

Scouting Report. Kyle Hendricks. player. 9. Pick Analysis. SP. ZiPS: 158.7 IP, 4.20 ERA, 121 SO, 33 BB, 4.41 FIP.

ZiPS: 143.0 IP, 3.97 ERA, 107 SO, 47 BB, 4.20 FIP. . player. 9. Scouting Report. Wade Miley. Pick Analysis. SP

player. Pick Analysis. Adbert Alzolay. ZiPS: 115.3 IP, 4.45 ERA, 124 SO, 40 BB, 4.33 FIP. . 9. Scouting Report. SP

Alec Mills. 9. Scouting Report. SP. ZiPS: 125.0 IP, 5.11 ERA, 95 SO, 37 BB, 5.23 FIP. . player. Pick Analysis

Bullpen (7)

  • Codi Heuer
  • Rowan Wick
  • Scott Effross
  • Manuel Rodriguez
  • Brad Wieck
  • Michael Rucker
  • Keegan Thompson

Touching on a couple of the names above, Codi Heuer was part of the Craig Kimbrel deal with the White Sox last summer. The former sixth-round pick in 2018 posted a combined 4.28 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 67.1 innings.

Batters don’t square up Heuer very often, landing within the top-seven percentile of the league last year with a 4.5 barrel percentage. His secondary pitches are filthy, but batters hit a robust .336 off his fastball last year.

If he can fine-tune his primary pitch, Heuer can be an effective arm out of the bullpen for the Cubs in 2022.

RP. Codi Heuer. . player. 9. Pick Analysis. ZiPS: 68.0 IP, 3.71 ERA, 64 SO, 21 BB, 3.64 FIP. Scouting Report

Stepping into the closer’s role after the Kimbrel trade, Rowan Wick left a lot to be desired from the previous two years. In 2021, the big righty posted a 4.30 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 23.0 innings of work. Sounds good, right? Well, not exactly, as Wick had the propensity to walk a few batters (5.5 BB/9). If he can hone in on his control, the 29-year-old can make a complete transition into a permanent ninth-inning role.

player. RP. Rowan Wick. ZiPS: 43.3 IP, 3.74 ERA, 51 SO, 22 BB, 3.98 FIP. . 9. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis

Scouting Report. Scott Effross. player. 9. Pick Analysis. RP. ZiPS: 65.0 IP, 4.85 ERA, 57 SO, 19 BB, 4.72 FIP.

ZiPS: 46.0 IP, 4.50 ERA, 40 SO, 22 BB, 4.76 FIP. 9. Pick Analysis. RP. Manuel Rodriguez. . player. Scouting Report

ZiPS: 36.3 IP, 4.46 ERA, 47 SO, 17 BB, 4.30 FIP. Brad Wieck. player. 9. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. RP.

ZiPS: 77.0 IP, 4.68 ERA, 77 SO, 27 BB, 4.57 FIP. Pick Analysis. RP. Michael Rucker. . player. 9. Scouting Report

Keegan Thompson had a terrific first half to the 2021 season, posting a 1.64 ERA in 22 appearances, including a spot start. However, the wheels fell off in the second half as Thompson spun a 6.20 ERA in 10 appearances, including five starts. The 26-year-old has terrific splits as a reliever, holding opponents to a .206 batting average in 37.0 innings of work. More importantly, Thompson limited batters to a .196 batting average with runners in scoring position.

ZiPS: 70.7 IP, 4.97 ERA, 69 SO, 32 BB, 5.09 FIP. Keegan Thompson. . player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. RP. 9