The offseason is in full swing, and minor moves have been made all around the league. The Chicago Cubs got in on the fun, adding right-hander Rowan Wick.
This isn’t one of those deals that catches the attention of most Chicago Cubs fans. But depth is never a bad thing – especially when it comes to pitching. With that in mind, Chicago made a deal with the San Diego Padres this week, sending a roadblocked prospect to the Friars.
Jason Vosler went back to the Padres in the deal. Vosler is coming off a breakout minor league season where he hit 23 home runs, which was the most of any third baseman in the Cubs’ organization. Unfortunately, with the Cubs infield depth there really wasn’t a spot for Vosler to play, so maybe he will get a chance in San Diego.
As for Wick, he saw time in the Majors this season, albeit sparingly. He pitched in 10 games and the stat line is less than impressive, pitching to a 6.48 ERA in 8 1/3 innings, giving up 13 hits, striking out seven, and walking just one. The BAA was .351. He only walked one hitter, though, so he throws strikes – which is sure to make folks happy.
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The bullpen is still taking shape heading into 2019, but, again it never hurts to have more depth, and that’s what Wick is. He is a depth piece who will likely be with the Cubs at the start of Spring Training and begin the season down in Iowa.
Wick, 26, was drafted back in 2012 by the Cardinals in the ninth round. The talent is there, but the results weren’t in a short time. Of course, he pitched to a 3.40 FIP with that 6.48 ERA, so there was a lot of bad luck during his time with San Diego, much of it extending from the .414 BABIP he surrendered.
The Padres didn’t play very good defense, which doesn’t help Wick’s case, but the Cubs do play above-average defense and are elite at a few positions. Defense helps a pitcher as much as their stuff does, so the potential is there for Wick to improve.
This move is simply the Cubs taking a flyer on a guy and hoping he can figure it out, which is what his time in the minors will be for. Should there be an injury to a reliever, and there most likely will be over a 162-game season, don’t be surprised if Wick is one of the first guys to have his name called from Iowa.