David Ross' recent comments tip hand for Chicago Cubs starting rotation

Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs
Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Hayden Wesneski has seemingly been on cruise control during his first Spring Training with the team as he has looked nearly flawless in each of his starts prior to his appearance against the Los Angeles Dodgers last Friday.

Wesneski got touched up in his start against the Dodgers as he allowed 4 runs in 3.1 innings of work while allowing 4 hits and walking 2. Still, there were positives for Wesneski as he did strike out six Dodgers batters.

For Cubs' manager David Ross, the positives extended beyond the strikeouts.

"“Having a rough outing like that and knowing where you can really hone in and focus is a good thing to me,” Ross said. “Complacency can set in in a spring training outing. It just kind of takes that dial back up to where we need it to be come Opening Day.”"

Sahadev Sharma via The Athletic

Ross' comments after Wesneski's may have tipped his hand in regard to the decision he will need to make regarding the fifth starter in the Cubs' rotation. Entering Spring Training, Wesneski along with Javier Assad and Adrian Sampson were competing for the final spot in the Cubs' rotation.

Wesneski has emerged as the favorite in the competition and while the team has yet to officially make a decision, Ross' comments would suggest that the team is factoring the pitching prospects into their Opening Day roster. It would seem unlikely that the Cubs would waste Wesneski's innings this year with him pitching out of the bullpen and his ability to make hitters swing and miss makes him a rare commodity for the team's starting rotation.

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It will be interesting to see what decision is made once Kyle Hendricks is healthy. Hendricks is expected to be ready around May and it would seem that he would be in a position to replace either Wesneski or veteran Drew Smyly depending on who may be struggling.