Cubs RHP Ben Brown will open the 2024 season at Triple-A Iowa
Before suffering an injury in late July, a Ben Brown big league debut looked to be a very real possibility for a Cubs team that was weathering the loss of Marcus Stroman. But that injury cost Brown a whole month and he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen upon his return.
He opened the year by dazzling at Double-A Tennessee, making 4 starts and working to a 0.45 ERA, 0.950 WHIP and 13.5 K/9 before getting bumped to Iowa. There, though, he struggled a good amount, making 15 starts and 7 relief appearances and posting a 5.33 ERA and 1.528 WHIP. Letting him build more of a track record of success at Iowa before leaning on him at the big league level makes too much sense to think he's cracking the Opening Day roster.
Brown checks in as the Cubs' second-ranked pitching prospect behind only Cade Horton and it seems likely he'll make his MLB debut before the end of the 2024 season. But the addition of Imanaga will allow Chicago to let their young right-hander get his feet back under him at Triple-A and re-establish himself before getting the call.