With the Cubs’ season over and school back in session, it’s time to mix the two and dole out final grades for the 2020 season. This three-part series will rate individual performances over the Cubs’ 60-game regular season, plus their two playoff games.
Now that we’ve evaluated the starting rotation, it’s the bullpen’s turn. The Cubs bullpen started the year with the worst ERA (9.64) in the league through the first week, walking an MLB-high 9.64 batters per nine innings. But the group improved dramatically over the course of the season. In the month of September, the Cubs bullpen accrued the best ERA (2.56) in the National League.
In a year with expanded rosters, 21 different pitchers made relief appearances for the Cubs. Those included Brad Weick (hamstring/knee), who was expected to be an important part of the Cubs bullpen before he landed on the injured list. It included left-handers Andrew Chafin and Josh Osich, who the Cubs added at the trade deadline. It included Jason Adam, who manager David Ross trusted in high-leverage situations at the end of the season but who first took the mound for the Cubs in mid-August.
Here are the grades for the seven relievers who pitched at least 15 innings for the Cubs this season: