In an interview with Tony Andracki on Tuesday, Chicago Cubs manager David Ross confirmed that left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly will begin the 2022 season in the starting rotation.
One of the Cubs' themes this offseason was adding pitching depth. Smyly, who signed with the Cubs earlier this month, was a candidate in the mix this spring for one of the final two spots in the starting rotation.
Coming off arguably his best season to date, Smyly could prove to be a productive starter for the Cubs this year. In 29 games last year with the Atlanta Braves, the lefty posted an 11-4 record and 4.48 ERA in 126.2 innings across 23 starts. He also made six appearances in relief. Due to Adbert Alzolay's injury, Ross will need Smyly to eat a lot of innings early this season.
With Opening Day just over a week away, the Chicago Cubs starting rotation will consist of Kyle Hendricks, Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley, and Drew Smyly with the fifth spot still in question. It will be interesting to see who Ross elects to go with in the final spot. Could young lefty Justin Steele get the nod? Ross did say there was a “strong chance” he could make the rotation. Or what about Alec Mills? We've seen him there before.
Could the Cubs employ a six-man rotation to start the season? Perhaps Ross uses a few different arms for the fifth spot depending on the opposing lineup that day. Whatever the decision is, fans will get their answer soon with the start of the season just around the corner.