When the Cubs broke camp at the end of March, Trevor Cahill and Adam Warren were stretched out enough for a spot start or long relief duty if necessary. Joe Maddon said last month that Cahill was actually the team’s sixth starter if the Cubs needed help in the rotation beyond Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks.
Warren was very sharp Tuesday night. In two innings, Warren struck out three of the six batters he faced on 36 pitches, 23 for strikes. Warren has pitched three innings in the Cubs last two games.
In six games, Warren has allowed one unearned run on two hits and three walks (0.00 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 2.58 FIP). Warren has six strikeouts in six innings. And Warren has appeared in three of Kyle Hendricks’ four starts.
Joe Maddon said Tuesday that Warren has “gotten better from Spring Training until now” and he likes the way Warren pitches to both sides of the plate with the ability to get both lefties and righties out. Maddon explained that his two-inning outing Tuesday was part of the plan to keep Warren stretched out.
“I think Adam is pitching very well. Part of, honestly, do what I did tonight was to get him more stretched out in case there was a need for that,” Maddon told the beat writers. “So that was part of it. I’d say he’s in the lead based on being more stretched out right now.”
Adam Warren had a lot of success last season in the Yankees rotation. As a starter, Warren was 6-6 in 17 games with a 3.66 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. Warren was 1-1 with a save, a 2.29 ERA and 1.01 WHIP out of the pen and finished the year 7-7 with a 3.29 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 3.59 FIP.
The Cubs do not appear close to making any changes with the staff or rotation. Keeping the options open with Adam Warren is the right plan to stick with early in the season.