Chicago Cubs receive some bad news regarding starter Jordan Wicks

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

After the Chicago Cubs' 5-1 win over the Cardinals, manager Craig Counsell told the media that starter Jordan Wicks has a Grade 2 oblique strain. Wicks left Friday's game in the second inning after he felt something in his oblique. He was immediately put on the 15-day IL Saturday morning, but it will be much longer than a few weeks before he returns.

Wicks was just coming back from the forearm injury. He made an appearance in relief on June 8th in Cincinnati, but he had not made a start since April 23. Wicks was looking pretty sharp in his 1.2 innings pitched on Friday before leaving the game. The timing of this injury is pretty rough with Ben Brown going on the IL with a "unique" neck injury. Not to mention top pitching prospect Cade Horton is also on the IL with a subscapular injury.

The Cubs' rotation depth will be tested following Jordan Wicks' injury update.

So how bad is the injury to Wicks? A Grade 2 strain involves extensive damage to the muscle fibers but is not completely ruptured (Grade 3). While it's not technically worst case scenario it's not ideal. The optimal timeline (per The Athletic and New York Times) is around 5-8 weeks, but that is a general timeline where everything goes well. It could be mid-August or September before we see Wicks pitch for the Cubs again.

Hopefully from a starting pitching standpoint, Shōta Imanaga, Justin Steele, Javier Assad and Jameson Taillon can keep consistently pitching good/decent ballgames. One can also hope the last few appearances from Kyle Hendricks is a sign he can pitch at least somewhat respectable out of the rotation when needed.