Inbox: Is Cubs Staff The Game’s Best?

If Yu Darvish is healthy, ready to go for Opening Day and can simply be a reliable starter, is there a better five-man rotation than the Cubs going into the 2019 season?–David S., Chicago I wouldn’t go as far as calling the Cubs’ rotation the best five-man staff in baseball, but it’s certainly within the top 10. Where exactly the rotation would fall in that type of ranking would probably depend on who you ask and what they value. For now, I think I’d put the Indians, Astros, Nationals, Dodgers and Mets ahead of Chicago’s formidable veteran staff.

If Yu Darvish is healthy, ready to go for Opening Day and can simply be a reliable starter, is there a better five-man rotation than the Cubs going into the 2019 season?

--David S., Chicago

I wouldn't go as far as calling the Cubs' rotation the best five-man staff in baseball, but it's certainly within the top 10. Where exactly the rotation would fall in that type of ranking would probably depend on who you ask and what they value. For now, I think I'd put the Indians, Astros, Nationals, Dodgers and Mets ahead of Chicago's formidable veteran staff.

I will say, however, that having Darvish healthy and back to his old ways -- performing like a pitcher worthy of the six-year, $126 million contract he received from the Cubs last winter -- would give Chicago quite the staff of innings eaters. Across the board, the Cubs' starters (Darvish, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana) have 200-inning potential, which is rare in an era when 200-inning arms are waning.