Cubs: 3 ways the season has gone wrong - #2: Hayden Wesneski has struggled after seizing a starting job during spring training
Cubs fans have dreamed of a homegrown pitching pipeline for decades now - and it's probably closer now than at any point this century, really. Seeing young right-hander Hayden Wesneski win the final spot in the rotation this spring offered hope that the team's crop of young arms might impact the big league roster sooner than expected.
However, the first two months haven't exactly gone to plan for Wesneski. After a disastrous outing against the Twins in mid-May, the 25-year-old hurler was optioned to Iowa. He's since returned from Triple-A and has been more effective, but still has a 5.65 FIP on the year and has hardly been the rotation staple envisioned, at least so far.
Thankfully, Kyle Hendricks' return lined up perfectly with Wesneski's demotion and although he's since had to step in for the injured Justin Steele, there's very little pressure on the rookie at this point. The hope is that he can find his footing in the bullpen and get back to being the guy who caught our eye in 2022.
Instead of immediately proving himself as a long-term rotation solution, Wesneski is facing questions about whether or not he's cut out to be a starter at the major league level. There's a lot of time left in the season to rewrite that narrative, but these first few chapters in 2023 haven't been what we'd hoped for.