Cubs fans have already turned on Craig Counsell just like David Ross

Well, that didn't take long. Cubs fans don't like Craig Counsell's bullpen management.
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

There are a few constants among fanbases in MLB. First, the umpire is always horrible. There are very few exceptions. Second, if you're not second-guessing your manager's bullpen choices, what's the point of even watching the later innings?

The Cubs have outperformed expectations so far this MLB season. At 20-14, Craig Counsell has his team in NL postseason positioning in early May. Of course, there is a long way to go, but Counsell is one of the best managerial minds in the game. It's why the Cubs front office paid him a record contract to leave the rival Milwaukee Brewers for the north side of Chicago.

Unfortunately, the back end of Chicago's bullpen hasn't played up to par so far in 2024. Namely, Adbert Alzolay has a 5.54 ERA and -.7 WAR this season. Along with his three saves, he's put the Cubs in precarious spots.

Cubs fans are furious with Craig Counsell for sticking with Adbert Alzolay

Yet, Alzolay finished the 2023 season as one of the best closers in baseball, especially in the second half. Alzolay had 22 saves and a 2.67 ERA last year. It's why the Cubs believe in him to a fault. If Chicago's bullpen is going to thrive this year, Alzolay will have to pitch to his potential. Counsell knows that, but losing these early-season games in the process hasn't helped his standing within the fanbase.

“It feels awful,” Counsell said to the media. “It feels bad for sure and you feel for Adbert for sure. He’s struggling right now for sure. But we need Adbert. We need Adbert to be an effective member of the bullpen and we need to keep giving him opportunities to do that.”

Counsell is essentially telling Cubs fans to hang in there for now. Eventually, even Counsell will reach his breaking point with Alzolay, but there have been enough positive signs at the back end of the Chicago bullpen that he'd prefer not to overreact and pull the 29-year-old from the closer spot just yet.