Chicago Cubs Injury Updates: Julian Merryweather, Jameson Taillon, and Patrick Wisdom

An interesting roster decision lies ahead for the Chicago Cubs.
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

There was some surprise on Sunday when the Chicago Cubs announced that relief pitcher Julian Merryweather was placed on the 15-day IL with a shoulder strain.

Merryweather has allowed 1 run while striking out 6 batters through his first 4 appearances this season but has been experiencing a dip in velocity. For reference, while it's early, Merryweather's average fastball velocity this season has sat at 96.7 MPH while it was at 98.2 MPH last season. Given the recent rash of pitching injuries, it's never an easy feeling when a pitcher has to be placed on the IL with a shoulder strain.

Given the struggles of Yency Almonte and Jose Cuas to begin the season, the Cubs will need a healthy Merryweather to serve as an anchor in the bullpen along with Mark Leiter Jr, Hector Neris, and Adbert Alzolay.

Jameson Taillon begins minor-league rehab assignment

Jameson Taillon remains on track to return to the Chicago Cubs' rotation when the team completes their nine-game West Coast trip next week. Over the weekend, Taillon began a minor-league rehab assignment with the Tennesee Smokies.

Taillon got touched up for 4 runs on 6 hits in 2.2 innings of work for the Smokies but by all accounts after the game, his back was feeling good.

Patrick Wisdom could be ready for a return this week.

Patrick Wisdom, also dealing with a back strain, began a minor-league rehab assignment with the Iowa Cubs over the weekend. The early belief was that Wisdom would be ready to return to the Cubs ahead of their weekend series against the Seatle Mariners.

Wisdom will create an interesting roster decision for the Cubs considering the argument could be made that Garret Cooper is a better option for the role that Wisdom was believed to have on this year's roster. The leading belief, as of now, is that once Wisdom returns, utility infielder Miles Mastrobuoni will be optioned to Triple-A.

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