Cubs LHP Jordan Wicks will open the 2024 season in the big leagues
Jordan Wicks was never a headline grabber even as a prospect, but even coming out of the draft as a Kansas State standout, his polish and makeup was highly regarded and most believed he'd have a short wait before impacting a big league roster.
That proved to be the case as just over two years after the Cubs took him with the 21st overall pick in 2021, he made his debut against the Pirates at PNC Park, striking out 9 and allowing just 1 earned run in five innings of work. A clunker in his final start of the year ballooned his numbers but, all told, the young left-hander held his own down the stretch, pitching valuable innings for Chicago in August and September.
He looks to have the inside track on the fifth and final spot in the rotation, which would push both Javier Assad and Drew Smyly into the bullpen as swingmen giving Counsell two long-relief arms or, if he so chooses, a way to give some guys extra rest as the schedule allows by slotting in spot starters.
2024 will be a test for Wicks as the league has a scouting report on him now and it marks his first full MLB season. There will be ups and downs, but he's handled everything thrown his way to this point well. The hope is he can do the same at the back end of the Cubs rotation.