Ben Brown continues to answer the call at every turn for the Chicago Cubs

The lanky right-hander seems to thrive regardless of the role he's asked to play.
Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs
Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Ben Brown continues to impress. In his first big league season, the tall Chicago Cubs right-hander has bounced between the starting rotation and bullpen as injuries has laid waste to Craig Counsell's plans heading into the season.

On Thursday afternoon, Brown made a spot start filling Kyle Hendricks' spot in the rotation and held a powerful Atlanta Braves offseason down, striking out 6 over four scoreless innings in the series finale.

Brown lowered his ERA on the season to 3.20, which includes seven relief appearances and five starts. The right-hander entered the year as one of the organization's top pitching prospects and has quietly stepped up to fill a major need in that swingman role in Counsell's bullpen.

Looking at his statistics, you might think he's markedly better as a starter than a reliever, but those numbers are heavily impacted by his Opening Day debut disaster in Texas (six of the 14 earned runs he's allowed this year came in that one appearance). It doesn't matter what Counsell asks of him, the 24-year-old has answered the call.

Ben Brown has been on a heater after his brutal MLB debut in Texas

Since that disastrous debut, Brown has allowed just eight earned runs in 37.2 innings of work, good for a 1.91 ERA. Given the injuries the Cubs have weathered across the entire pitching staff, not to mention the ineffectiveness from several expected contributors, being able to rely on him has been a huge drive of the team's early success.

With Jordan Wicks and Drew Smyly working their way back, it'll be interesting to see how the Cubs deploy Brown moving forward. He and Hayden Wesneski have quickly become go-to options in the pen, and it seems likely Wicks will slot back into the rotation assuming he's 100 percent.

One thing is for sure, though. Brown has a very bright future and the 2022 David Robertson trade looks more like a master class on the part of Jed Hoyer with each passing appearance.