Jed Hoyer: What Cubs' staff lacks in velocity, it can make up for with 'pitchability'

As a team, the Cubs had the lowest fastball velocity in MLB in 2020.

(670 The Score) The velocity of the Cubs’ pitching staff has lagged behind much of MLB in recent years. That was abundantly clear in 2020, when Cubs pitchers’ average fastball velocity of 91.9 miles per hour ranked dead last in MLB, per Fangraphs.

That trait was only magnified when Chicago traded ace Yu Darvish to San Diego in December for softer-throwing right-hander Zach Davies and four young prospects. Despite this trend, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has plenty of confidence in what his staff can do.

“Obviously, you’d rather have a rotation with guys throwing 97 with power breaking stuff,” Hoyer said on the Bernstein & Rahimi Show on Thursday. “I think that’s ideal. Obviously, everything is not going to be perfect. I think we have a staff of really good major league pitchers that have kind of bucked the trend and been able to pitch with pitchability and using multiple weapons. And I think we have a pitching infrastructure that has certainly succeeded with those kinds of pitchers.”

Hoyer believes the Cubs can overcome a lack of velocity with a holistic approach. The Cubs were 10th in MLB with a 3.99 ERA in 2020.

“The ball is going to be playing more, which is going to put more pressure on defense,” he said. “I do think we have really good positioning and really good defense. And so as a result, I think in addition to pitching infrastructure, we have a better chance than most teams to be able to succeed with pitchers like that.

“We’re going to have to work really on positioning and work really hard on pitch design and maximizing what we do have.”