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BCB After Dark: Kings of the Hill?

The late-night/early-morning spot for Cubs fans asks you how you are feeling about the Cubs pitching staff.

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the cool spot on a hot night for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. I hope you’re all doing well tonight. Come on in and relax for a while. There’s no cover charge. Let us know if there’s anything we can do for you tonight. Bring your own beverage.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

The Cubs lost tonight to the Reds, 7-1. I blame myself for this one since it was 1-1 when I had to turn off the game and go deal with family matters. I should never have gotten married and had a daughter. Priorities.

Last night I asked you to grade the Seiya Suzuki signing and it turns out most of you are still pretty happy with it as 50 percent of you gave it a “B.” Another 33 percent only gave it a “C” while 12 percent of you still think it was a home run and gave it an “A.”

Here’s the part where I normally throw it over to the jazz and movies. But honestly, I had a bit of a scheduling problem this evening as my daughter’s high school football game (the one she’s cheering for) got delayed by two hours so as to avoid the 110 degree heat. Later, I had some internet issues. This is all a long-winded way of saying that I don’t have any movie stuff for you tonight. But I’d pre-written some jazz, and we always have time for that anyway. You can skip it now if you want. You won’t hurt my feelings. But I’m including some Rolling Stones as a bonus.

Today (well, probably yesterday by the time you read this) is the birthday of the giant of the tenor saxophone, Sonny Rollins, who is 92 years young today. Or maybe we should call him the “Saxophone Colossus” as his classic 1956 album was titled.

This is a colorized concert recording from 1971. Sonny plays his classic “Sonnymoon for Two” and the jazz standard by Duke Ellington “In a Sentimental Mood.” Joining Rollins for this gig are Bobo Stenson on piano, Arild Andersen on bass and Jon Christensen on drums.

And because it’s Rollins’ birthday, I’m including what is probably the song that is probably the very first time I heard Rollins play. It’s The Rolling Stones’ “Waiting for a Friend,” which features Rollins on saxophone. I always thought this was a surprisingly mature song for a band that, for the most part throughout their career, has refused to grow up.

Welcome back to all of you who skip the music.

Tonight I’m going to ask you a simple question: How do you feel about the Cubs’ pitching staff going into 2023? The Cubs will have Marcus Stroman returning and we hope Kyle Hendricks will come back healthy. We don’t know about Drew Smyly, but it sounds like he could be coming back next year. There’s a mutual option on his contract, although we’re unsure on the terms. But he says he’s happy in Chicago.

Then there are all those young pitchers that have done well this year. Keegan Thompson and Justin Steele are the most-established of them, but there is also Hayden Wesneski, Caleb Kilian and Javier Assad. It’s certainly possible, maybe even likely, that Jordan Wicks is going to pitch for the Cubs next season.

The bullpen is a bit more of a mess with team president Jed Hoyer trading away the best four relievers at the trade deadline. But there’s a good chance that Codi Heuer returns and Brandon Hughes is establishing himself as a reliable arm back there. There are also other young arms like Manuel Rodriguez, Brendon Little and Jeremiah Estrada. Adbert Alzolay is still a wildcard for either the rotation or the pen. And that’s not even getting into minor league prospects like DJ Herz or Ben Leeper or Ryan Jensen.

There are a lot of good and talented young arms. Of course, you know what they say about young arms—they’ll break your heart.

So rank how well you’re feeling about the Cubs pitching staff for 2023. A “5” doesn’t mean that you think they’re perfect the way they are, but you think what Hoyer needs to add to the team this winter won’t be too hard to turn it into a playoff-worthy staff. (This doesn’t mean you think the hitting will be good enough to make the postseason, of course.) A “4” is you think there’s a solid foundation, but there are some pressing issues that need to be addressed and they won’t be easily solved. Give a “3” if you there’s a solid foundation, but there needs to be be a major renovation over the winter.

A “1” means you think it’s a mess and the rebuild is still a ways away from completion. A “2” would mean that you are a little more optimistic that what they’ve got is good, but it still won’t be anywhere near playoff-ready, even with some big additions this winter.

I hope I didn’t over-explain it. So tell us how you are feeling about the Cubs’ pitching staff heading into next year?


How do you feel about the Cubs’ pitching staff heading into 2023?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    (5 votes)
  • 39%
    (41 votes)
  • 38%
    (40 votes)
  • 18%
    (19 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
105 votes total Vote Now

Thank you all so very much for stopping by. If you could help us by busing your own table tonight, that would be a big favor. Stay cool the rest of this evening. If you need us to call a ride for you, let us know. Please tip your waitstaff. And join us again tomorrow night for another edition of BCB After Dark.