Nick Madrigal was the headliner in a trade package that netted the White Sox Craig Kimbrel. There is a good reason for this. Madrigal is a former first-round pick that was hitting .305 before going down with a right hamstring injury that ended his season. He lined up to be a big part of the White Sox future. If he did not get injured chances are he would still be with the White Sox. Lost in that deal was Codi Heuer who could turn into a sneak good acquisition for the Chicago Cubs.
Codi Heuer was one of the most frustrating pitchers on the White Sox. You could see he had talent but he was wildly inconsistent. In 2020 he posted a 1.52 ERA in 21 games. He also recorded five holds and converted his only save opportunity. Heuer figured to be a major part of the White Sox bullpen in 2021. But Heuer’s ERA ballooned up to 5.12 so Rick Hahn decided to ship him off across town.
Most White Sox fans were happy to see Codi Heuer go, after all, he was the piece that put the Craig Kimbrel deal over the top. His former teammates were not.
“We lost Codi this year,” White Sox closer Liam Hendriks said, “and that’s going to be a big blow to the chemistry that we have out there. He’s such a good kid. He’s got a bright future ahead of him, and I can’t wait to see how he develops.”
Heuers Crosstown weekend was bittersweet for Heuer. Before Sunday’s game, Yoan Moncada could be seen running over to Heuer and giving him a big hug. Heuer chatted with pitching coach Ethan Katz during batting practice and his former bullpen mates in the outfield.
“We just got so tight,” Heuer told reporters. “It’s just kind of something you build, it’s not something you can create artificially, that chemistry.
But during the games, it was all business. Heuer impressed, facing the minimum amount of hitters against his former team in the ninth inning of Friday’s extra-innings loss for the Cubs. David Ross has thrown him into the fire using him in some high leverage situations and he has risen to the occasion. In four games he has yet to give up a run for the Cubs and has recorded two holds.
The White Sox saw closer potential in Heuer but it just never came to fruition. With the Cubs, he will get an opportunity to show what he can do late in games. But Heuer’s stuff was not lost on his former teammates.
“He knows that he’s better than everyone out there,” Aaron Bummer said. “And that’s not to say that it’s cocky or it’s too much, but he’s an extremely confident human. He’s got the stuff that can put anybody away. ”
Heuer has shown the Cubs that he is hungry and ready to work. Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy has been working with Heuer on a new fastball grip. Last week in Denver Heuer tried out the new grip on the mound en route to a scoreless inning. When he returned to the dugout Hottovy asked him how many fastballs had been with the new grip. Heuer responded ‘all of them.’
Lance Lynn, who is one of the leaders of the White Sox pitching staff, texted Heuer after he got traded and told him to keep his head up.
“I told him, go do his thing, show everybody what he’s got and how good he is, and everything will take care of itself from there,” Lynn told Maddie Lee of NBC Sports Chicago.
“I’m looking forward to getting settled here at Wrigley with all the resources that they have here and definitely dive into it a little more,” Heuer said. “But it’s been a little eye-opening. It’s been really cool.” Codi Heuer is excited about his new opportunity, Cubs fans should be excited too.