Cubs RHP Hayden Wesneski will open the 2024 season at Triple-A Iowa
Acquired from the New York Yankees in the Anthony Rizzo at the trade deadline in 2021, Hayden Wesneski jumped onto Cubs fans' radars in 2022 when he made his debut in September, tossing 33 innings of 2.18 ERA ball for Chicago.
That led most of us to assume he'd be a rotation fixture in 2023 - but that proved to not be the case, as the right-hander instead slotted into a jack-of-all-trades role, making 11 starts, finishing 6 and appearing in another 17 out of the pen. The results admittedly weren't all that impressive: a 5.48 FIP and 2.0 HR/9 in 89 1/3 innings of work.
The metrics didn't paint any more forgiving a picture, either. Just look at his Baseball Savant page. In terms of barrel rate, he ranked in the bottom one percent of the league - and his hard hit rate jumped dramatically over the year prior.
He's struggled a ton against lefties, making a future as a reliever more likely at this point. But seeing if he can figure things out and even out his splits at Iowa makes the most sense. There might still be a road to him becoming a quality arm for the Cubs, but he needs to level things off a bit before he's asked to pitch meaningful innings at Wrigley again.