Stratton needs to bring a quality start to the table
While Tyler Skaggs offers plenty of opportunity for success, it isn’t as easy to the same for Chris Stratton. Stratton hasn’t pitched through 5 innings in his two starts this season, though his last start against the Rangers still offered the Angels a competitive ball game.
The dominant bullpen has been able to keep wonky games, like the ones Stratton brings, under control at the very least. Given the state of the Cubs lineup, we’ll need to see Stratton bring real heat to the game. Not just 4 innings of mediocre pitching, but he’ll need to put up an actual quality start for the sake of the team. We’ve seen that he definitely has the stuff to be a solid starter – his breaking balls snap hard and his fastball is solid – the problem is he just doesn’t apply it well enough in game time situations.
We don’t want to see the bullpen run dry in the Cubs series after all the work they did against the Brewers and that all starts with Stratton. Well, Skaggs really, if Skaggs can put up 7+ innings of baseball to start the series he’ll be a savior to this bullpen. Especially with Stratton on the hill to follow him; even with the off day prior to the series it would not be beneficial to have Stratton last less than 5 innings and force another big day for the bullpen. Of course this may not be as self-destructive with Jaime Barria on the big league roster, he should be available to eat up innings in the Stratton start.
As complicated as the Stratton situation may be, everything looks a lot better the day after his scheduled start.