The National League Central pitching took a big hit when St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Adam Wainwright was lost for the season, but there are still plenty of qualified Cy Young Candidates in the division. Here is a look at the divisions top five Cy Young candidates after the month of April:
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This offseason the Cincinnati Reds traded Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon, but so far that has not been a major problem to the 2015 squad. Heading into the season, Johnny Cueto was viewed the team’s only top arm, but Anthony DeSclafani is pitching as well as anyone through the season’s first month. Through his first four starts, he is 2-1 with a National League leading 1.04 ERA. No one expected the 25-year-old right hander to be this good, but if he can carry this start throughout the season he will be one of the biggest reasons why the Reds remain in contention.
4. Jake Arrieta
The Cubs made a giant splash this offseason when they added ace, Jon Lester. But so far he is still looking for his first win. On the other hand, last years acquisition, Jake Arrieta has become the team’s most trusted pitcher. After proving himself last season in 25 starts, he has been just as good this year. With a 2.03 ERA to start the year, he has been very tough to beat.
The Cardinals lost Adam Wainwright, but with plenty of young pitching talent it might not matter. Heading into the season, pitcher Carlos Martinez was battling for a starting job and he is proving why he won the last spot in the rotation. Not only is he an ERA leader, but he has also shown the ability to mow batters down with 24 strikeouts through 26 innings. At 3-0 he has lived up to every bit of the hype that came with being a former top-prospect.
2. Gerrit Cole
Ever since Cole was called-up in 2013, he has been expected to be a Cy Young contender and at 24-years-old he is fully developed into that type of pitcher. He is among leaders in ERA, strikeouts and WHIP and becoming one of the most feared pitchers in the league. The Pirates have the talent to again remain in contention all year and Cole will be the key arm that they count on each time out.
1. Johnny Cuteo
He never gets the recognition, but Cueto is one of the top-three pitchers in the game today. Though he rarely gets any run support, Cueto continually attacks hitters and is able to often single-handedly win games. This season he has started the year at 2-2 with a 1.95 ERA and an incredible 0.73 WHIP. He has proven himself for years and there is no reason to expect any sort of decline as the season progresses.