Ross: Cubs Bullpen Has 'To Show Me Who To Trust'

Cubs relievers have a combined 9.00 ERA, the worst of any bullpen in MLB.

Laurence Holmes Show
July 28, 2020 - 1:04 pm
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(670 The Score) Just four games into a shortened 60-game season, the Cubs seemingly have a crisis on their hands despite a strong 3-1 start.

The Cubs bullpen has been awful early, allowing 12 earned runs in 12 innings. Their 9.00 ERA ranks the worst of any bullpen in MLB. The trouble was lowlighted by closer Craig Kimbrel's abysmal outing Monday evening, when he walked four batters and hit another while recording just one out in the Cubs' 8-7 win against the Reds.

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With that in mind, how does manager David Ross balance the need to give Kimbrel and others time to work through their issues with the increased stakes that each night brings in a 60-game campaign? And how long does he wait before turning to unproven relievers who are performing better than Kimbrel and those who are struggling?

"You got to look at the totality of the team," Ross said on the Laurence Holmes Show on Tuesday afternoon. "Who do you trust? Who's going to pitch big innings for you? To a man, those guys, they have to show me who to trust. They have to go out and get big outs and be those guys that you continue to build the confidence in for me. Some of these guys have a track record where you come in with a little more confidence, and then we have some young guys down there that have to establish themselves as major leaguers.

"What I would tell you about this shortened season is yeah, I understand it's unique and 60 games but the process of the player and the process, we can't change and all of a sudden just expect players to, 'Oh, it's a 60-game season and I've got to turn it on. I'm supposed to be sharp from day one.' It's the same game that we've played through 162 and when you have a shortened season, there's still going to be bumps in the road that you really wouldn't panic about so to speak in 162. Just because it's 60 games, those same struggles and those moments to get better and grow, those are still there. Those are still opportunities. We just don't have as much time. It just creates patience on my end and continue to take it day-to-day and to try to grow and get better. I think we'll be at our best on the back end of this season.

"I've got to be patient on my end."

Listen to Ross' full interview below.