Chicago Cubs News: Hayden Wesneski is heating up in Iowa

Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Hayden Wesneski was sent down to Iowa to get his arm stretched out for starting duties, and he has been dealing in his first three starts with the team
Baltimore Orioles v Chicago Cubs
Baltimore Orioles v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

On July 4th, The Chicago Cubs sent right-handed pitcher Hayden Wesneski down to Iowa where he has been stringing together some solid starts.

In his three starts for Iowa in July, Wesneski owns a 1.64 ERA with 19 strikeouts and just 2 walks. Since he was transferred to the bullpen when Kyle Hendricks came back from the IL in June, Wesneski was sent down to get his arm stretched out for starting duties again. This suggests that the Cubs will move one of their starters at the trade deadline with the most likely candidate being Marcus Stroman.

Even if Stroman is still on the team after August 1st, Wesneski could be slated to take Drew Smyly's spot in the rotation as the southpaw has been struggling lately. In Smyly's last 7 games, he owns a 7.88 ERA in 32 innings pitched with 16 walks. With a need for a lefty in the bullpen, Smyly could be destined for a demotion while Wesneski slots into the rotation. However, Manager David Ross is apprehensive to commit to a concrete plan for the rotation.

""We'll address that when its time comes," Ross said about Smyly's next start. "It'll be TBD again, I can promise you that.""

David Ross via Chicago Sun Times

The Cubs tried to do the Tampa Bay Rays' strategy of using an opener (Michael Fulmer) in Smyly's last start. It didn't work because while Fulmer went two innings and only surrendered a single earned run, Smyly came in and gave up 6 hits and 4 earned runs. The 34-year-old is under contract for next year and is slated to earn $8.5 million.

Hopefully, Wesneski can keep his current success rolling to finally solidify a role in the starting rotation. The 25-year-old has great stuff and a lot more potential than just being a high-leverage reliever. In any case, he will likely get another chance to prove himself very soon.

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