Chicago Cubs News: Hayden Wesneski named fifth starter

Mar 23, 2023; Mesa, Arizona, USA;  Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Hayden Wesneski (19) throws in the
Mar 23, 2023; Mesa, Arizona, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Hayden Wesneski (19) throws in the / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs have finalized their starting rotation to begin the season as Hayden Wesneski was named the team's fifth starter on Saturday by manager David Ross. Ross' announcement came after the team made a roster move earlier in the day that saw right-handed pitcher Adrian Sampson optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Sampson along with Javier Assad was in the mix for the final spot in the Cubs' rotation at the beginning of the season but Wesneski's performance during Spring Training made it an easy decision for the Cubs. Wesneski has been nearly flawless this Spring Training with the only exception being a start against the Los Angeles Dodgers but even in that appearance, he still managed to strike out six batters.

Wesneski arguably became the Cubs' best pitching prospect when he was acquired by the team in a trade deadline deal with the New York Yankees last season that saw the Cubs depart with reliever Scott Effross.

At 25 years of age and clearly showing that he has the best arsenal of pitches among any pitcher on the Cubs' staff, Wesneski was certainly worthy of the selection to the Cubs' Major League rotation.

Sampson will now begin the season with the Iowa Cubs and the Cubs have compiled quite the collection of arms that will be available with the I-Cubs in the event that there is an injury to the Major League pitching staff. Unlike last season where the Cubs did not have the depth to withstand the early injuries to Drew Smyly and Wade Miley, the team has stockpiled arms that would be capable of eating innings at the Major League level if called upon.

Next. Miles Mastrobuoni has thrived in Spring Training with the Cubs. dark

For Assad, the Cubs have loved what the pitcher has shown in Spring Training and with Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Assad will likely begin the season in the Major League bullpen as the swingman for the team.