The Chicago Cubs were a competitive team during the 2023 season. They gave a lot of really good teams a fit during the regular season and they even came very close to being a playoff team.
It felt like a lock that they were going to be in the postseason entering September but they blew it. The Milwaukee Brewers won the NL Central Division which was always going to be the case but the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks are the teams actually responsible for keeping the Cubs out.
The Cincinnati Reds are coming but the rest of the NL Central is very unpredictable right now. The St. Louis Cardinals are on the down right now but they always seem to find a way to rise above. The Pittsburgh Pirates are pesky but they seem to be a few years away.
As for those Brewers, everyone keeps waiting for them to slow down but they really haven’t yet. 2024 is difficult to predict for them right now but they are already dealing with a major injury and the off-season hasn’t even truly begun yet.
The Chicago Cubs aren’t going to be facing Brandon Woodruff in 2024.
One of their best-starting pitchers, Brandon Woodruff, is going to miss most (if not all) of 2024 as he is recovering from a shoulder surgery that he had after his season ended. Now, his career with the Milwaukee Brewers could be over because of his contract situation.
He is arbitration-eligible in 2024 but the Brewers could trade him or let him go in a different way. Either way, this is a huge blow to their pitching staff going into the off-season. This is an outstanding pitcher that every team in the league would want on their team healthy.
Woodruff only made 11 starts last season but he was incredible. He went 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA and a 0.821 WHIP. He struck out 74 hitters in 67.0 innings pitched. He had a WAR of 2.4 over those 11 starts and that all paints a picture of how good he was when on the mound.
The Cubs won’t be dealing with him and they need to take advantage. They should be going into the off-season thinking that they can win the NL Central right now. Nobody is wishing an injury on anyone but if the Brewers are going to be without him they might as well sell.
The Cubs can be that team that rises above. 2023 was proof of that but they need more depth so that things don’t fall out at the end of September again. Hopefully, Woodruff gets himself healthy quickly but the Cubs need to take advantage while he is out.