In the first 10 games of the season, the Cubs had a 6-4 record and one of the top offenses in the league.

Since then, the Cubs have gone through a sharp decline and are now 9-13. The Cubs players who went on hot streaks cooled down, and the Cubs are playing at the level many people expected them to.

Despite the impressive fall, Keegan Thompson has emerged as an elite threat in the bullpen.

Before the season started, Thompson’s name was thrown around as a player who would fight for the fifth starting spot. Head coach David Ross and pitching coach Tommy Hottovy believed he fit in the bullpen best. They made the right decision.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

In five appearances, Thompson has emerged as a multi-inning reliever with elite pitches. He has pitched 16.2 innings in those five appearances, allowing nine hits, one earned run, and a 0.54 ERA. 

Thompson has been by far the most valuable pitcher for the Cubs. According to both FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference, Thompson leads Cubs’ pitchers in war–as a reliever. 

Keegan Thompson on his season so far:

“I have a little more experience, and having some of that under my belt, yes, it does give you a lot more confidence.”

Thompson strikes out 27.9 percent of batters while only walking 8.2 percent of batters.

His elite cutter leaves opposing hitters confused, causing many swinging strikes. In his second season in the big leagues, being called up in 2021, he has already established himself as an essential piece in the bullpen.

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