Friday, May 24, 2024

Cubs Officially Bringing Back One of Their Best HR Hitters

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The Chicago Cubs had Thursday night’s series opener against the Miami Marlins postponed, but the team still made a few official moves to their roster. Right-handed slugger Patrick Wisdom is back on the roster after he concluded a rehab stint at Triple-A with the Iowa Cubs. Meanwhile, right-handed starting pitcher Jameson Taillon is set to make his season debut Friday.

Left-handed hitting utility man Miles Mastrobuoni has been optioned to Triple-A and right-handed pitcher Hayden Wesneski is also going back to Iowa following his brilliant 4-inning performance out of the bullpen on Wednesday.

Wisdom was 11-for-27 during his time at Triple-A, where he was rehabbing from a back strain that landed him on the injured list to begin the regular season. Despite his flaws at the plate, Wisdom has been one of the best power hitters with the Cubs since he’s gotten regular playing time. That won’t necessarily be an every-day thing with the current roster, but you should probably expect Craig Counsell to find Wisdom at-bats against lefties and certain righties.

In 2023, Wisdom hit 23 home runs in 302 plate appearances. After he returned from a wrist strain, Wisdom was used primarily as a backup and although the slash line wasn’t pretty, he did slug, hitting 9 home runs in 94 plate appearances during the last three months of the season.

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Speaking of home runs, the Pinwheels And Ivy Podcast celebrated Michael Busch’s incredible start with our very own Busch Beer home run party this week.

As for Taillon, he missed all of spring training, first with a calf issue and then a back strain. The veteran right-hander made a couple rehab starts in the minor leagues to build his stamina back up. While Taillon got off to a bad start in 2023 with the Cubs, he did have a strong finish.

Hopefully it won’t take Taillon too long to be fully stretched out because the Cubs need to get some length from their starting pitchers.

And for those wondering how Taillon’s return affects Kyle Hendricks’ status in the starting rotation, well he’s still scheduled to start on Sunday against the Marlins.

(Previous Update)

The Chicago Cubs started the regular season without right-handed slugger Patrick Wisdom, who began the year on the injured list because of a back strain. Well, after tearing up Triple-A during his rehab stint, it looks like the Cubs are adding Wisdom’s power bat back to the roster.

Wisdom started Wednesday afternoon’s Iowa Cubs game at third base and had two plate appearances, a walk and then a double. Wisdom was taken out of the game in the fourth inning.

According to Iowa Cubs beat reporter Tommy Birch, it does not appear that Wisdom was lifted because of an injury, which signals a return to the Cubs.

Chicago ends its three-city road trip on Wednesday and returns back to Wrigley Field on Thursday for the start of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins.

Including Wednesday’s game, Wisdom is batting .407 at Triple-A, going 11-for-27 at the plate with 3 home runs and 4 doubles.

Wisdom had an up and down 2023 season with the Cubs, coming out hot in April, but then slowly coming back to Earth in May and then completely tanking in June. However, you could argue that Wisdom’s right wrist sprain that sidelined him for a few weeks may have been the main culprit to his awful slump.

After returning from the injured list in early July, Wisdom finished the 2023 season with a slash line of .226/.298/.571, adding 9 home runs in 94 plate appearances. That was good enough for a 128 wRC+.

We know what Wisdom can provide. He’s a power bat that can get hot and as long as he’s used in favorable matchups Wisdom is a legit threat in your lineup.

So, the question now is who will the Cubs get rid of from their 26-man roster to make room for Wisdom? You have to imagine it’s one of the infielders, which would be one of Miles Mastrobuoni, Nick Madrigal or Garrett Cooper. I guess you could include Alexander Canario in this conversation, but I would hope the Cubs would keep him up and find ways to get him starts with Seiya Suzuki on the injured list and out for four weeks with his oblique strain.

It’s tough to really pin down the odd-man out because Mastrobuonui, Madrigal and Garrett haven’t really played much in the first three weeks of the season. Cooper has gotten the most playing time out of the trio and has hit, going 8-for-23, with a home run, triple and double. He has struck out seven times, while adding two walks in 25 plate appearances.

If Wisdom is coming back he can fill in as the right-handed DH bat or be the backup third baseman, while also giving Counsell an option to play the corner outfield spots. I think the safe bet is Mastrobuoni getting demoted. We’ll see what the move is after the Cubs come back from Arizona.

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timgjerde56
Apr 21, 2024 5:50 am

Patrick again highlighted why I think we need to move on from this really nice guy.

One swing and he’s a hero. It’s hard not to root for a guy like him, but we need the guys up from the minors when they’re ready. Ones who don’t have that boom or bust aspect to their game.

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