Chicago Cubs News: Jameson Taillon set for return to rotation

2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs took a stray from Cincinnati Reds' beat reporter Gordon Wittenmyer last week when the former Cubs' scribe joined 670 The Score and criticized the team for their lack of attention paid to the starting rotation over the offseason.

Wittenmyer's main point of contention is that the Cubs' lack of spending on starting pitchers this past winter is the reason why Javier Assad and Ben Brown can not be used in the bullpen, where they would undoubtedly provide a remedy for the struggling group of relievers.

Never mind the fact that the Cubs deal with starting pitcher Shota Imanaga this offseason could prove to be the best signing of a starting pitcher from last winter's free agent class, the only reason that Assad and Brown have been forced into the rotation is because of injuries to Justin Steele and Jameson Taillon.

To that end, Taillon's next start will be with the Cubs at the Major League level.

While speaking with reporters prior to the Cubs' victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night, manager Craig Counsell confirmed that Taillon has completed his minor-league rehab assignment and will meet the team in Arizona ahead of their series against the Diamondbacks.

Jameson Taillon's return will have a major impact on the Chicago Cubs' pitching staff.

While the argument could be made that Kyle Hendricks should be moved from the rotation to the bullpen upon Taillon's return, all indications are that Hendricks will remain in the rotation for the time being.

It would seem likely that either Brown or Assad will be moved to the bullpen within the next week and that shouldn't be viewed as a demotion. Given how Counsell views the management of a pitching staff, it would seem that whoever is moved to the bullpen will still have an important role on the pitching staff. Whether it's Brown or Assad, Counsell does not view pitchers with defined roles, rather out-getters, and his openness to using an "opener" will likely lead to either pitcher getting bulk opportunities while pitching out of the bullpen.