Marquez's debut with Cubs one to forget, but potential is there

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 
 
Updated 9/27/2020 7:41 PM

Brailyn Marquez's major-league debut on Sunday wasn't exactly long-awaited. The Cubs' top prospect, according to Baseball America, spent all of last season in Single A.

When the 6-foot-4 lefthander did take the mound in the eighth inning against the White Sox, his performance wasn't very good, but did include one highlight.

 

Marquez gave up 5 runs on 3 walks and 2 singles, to go with a pair of wild pitches. His highlight was striking out Jose Abreu on a 99-mile-per-hour high fastball.

The Cubs wanted to give Marquez a chance to get on the mound and see if maybe he could be a secret weapon for the playoffs. The answer is in: Probably not.

"I know people were calling for him earlier. He wasn't ready," team president Theo Epstein said before the game. "It was definitely a process.

"When he showed up back when we started going again at the alternate site, he needed to get in shape, which he did. Then there were some mechanical issues he needed to work through. He put in the work, worked through those mechanical issues. Then it was a process of getting his stuff back up to where it had been and then refining it.

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"He's actually made a lot of improvements. He's added some pitches. His sinker is a relatively new pitch for him that's been looking really effective and his changeup as well. It's just the last few weeks he's really come on strong and we felt like he deserved this opportunity."

The Dominican Republic native went 9-5 with a 3.13 ERA in 22 starts between South Bend and Myrtle Beach in 2019.

Winning culture arrives:

After clinching the NL Central title for the third time in six years, there was plenty of talk about how far the Cubs have progressed as a franchise

"I feel like we just win here," Kris Bryant said. "If you look at the course of these last six years, it kind of just feels like this whole culture in this clubhouse and in the city, it's just a winning culture now. That hadn't been here in a very long time and it's a testament to everybody involved here -- players, past players, front office, coaches."

"Nobody's satisfied with just one (championship). We all know that. You always want more."

Pitching updates:

Manager David Ross said injured starter Tyler Chatwood had a good bullpen session on Saturday, but still has a little way to go before he'd be ready to return to game action.

Ross wouldn't reveal his playoff rotation, but agreed it makes sense to expect Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish in the first two games against Miami, and Jon Lester if a Game 3 is needed.

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