3. RHP Hayden Wesneski
25-year-old Hayden Wesneski was acquired in a pretty shrewd swap for Scott Effross at the 2022 trade deadline. His starting abilities were showcased at a high level down the stretch in 2022, and he won the fifth starter job in Spring Training this year. However, his outstanding performances were no longer a constant and while he turned in a few quality starts, Wesneski's big league ERA sits at 5.03. This earned him a demotion to Triple-A in early May where Wesneski has made 1 start so far where he went 5 innings without yielding a run. I'm not ready to give up on him and neither are the Cubs because his stuff is too good to not play in MLB. Whether he ends up being a reliever or returns to the starting rotation at some point, Wesneski will be back this year and hopefully, he finds his groove to help this team compete in the future.
4. RHP Jeremiah Estrada
With the Cubs' offseason additions to the bullpen not working out (Michael Fulmer and Brad Boxberger), the young arms coming out of Iowa are going to be needed in high-leverage situations. Enter 24-year-old Jeremiah Estrada, who has yet to give up an earned run at the MLB level in 2023 through his 8 innings pitched. Standing at an unassuming 6'1 and 185 pounds, Estrada sports a high 90s fastball and a wipeout slider to a very effective level. I anticipate he will start getting reps in higher leverage situations with Boxberger on the IL and Michael Fulmer not trustworthy in a save situation anymore. He was given the ball on Tuesday against the Mets when Drew Smyly loaded the bases with no outs. He was able to escape with the Mets only getting one run with Pete Alonso at the plate.