Thursday, June 20, 2024

Hayden Wesneski is Still Nasty and Should Win Starter Competition


This man is legit.

I mean, when you have beat reporters thinking out loud, wondering whether or not Hayden Wesneski might be the third best starting pitcher in the rotation, then you know the competition for that last spot is pretty much over. Maybe David Ross still won’t say anything until the final week of spring training, but Wesneski continues to prove why he should be making the starting rotation once the Cubs break camp and go back to Wrigley Field to start the regular season.

Wesneski made his second straight start against the Los Angeles Dodgers and to their credit, they actually hit him this time around. Wesneski pitched four perfect innings against them in Glendale, Ariz., on Saturday.

On Friday, Wesneski held the Dodgers scoreless through three innings, striking out five of the first 11 batters he faced at Sloan Park. As Cubs fans have been accustomed to seeing, Wesneski’s slider was flat out filthy.

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This strikeout against Max Muncy was pure nastiness. The movement! Oh baby!

Things did go a little sideways in the fourth inning, when Wesneski walked a batter and gave up a single that led to a three-run home run off the bat of JD Martinez.

Wesneski ended up striking out Chris Taylor after surrendering the long ball and was then lifted after giving up a single. Still, Wesneski keeps showing what the Cubs need in the rotation. This team needs guys who can miss bats and Wesneski’s slider is getting the job done.

Adrian Sampson is the scheduled starter on Saturday against the San Francisco Giants. The veteran right-hander is trying to hold on to a roster spot and he’ll have to get some positive results quick because so far Sampson has given up eight home runs in 8.1 innings in three spring training appearances.

Unlike some of the pitchers on the staff, Sampson doesn’t have the benefit of easing into the season. He’s part of the fifth starter competition and right now he’s just trying to compete to stay high on the depth chart…at Triple-A.

And again, Wesneski is getting this type of hype right now.

Don’t miss out. Get on the Wesnasty bandwagon.

Meanwhile, Javier Assad is also in the fifth starter mix, but the latest word from Cubs camp is that the team may be considering using the righty out of the bullpen.

Assad made two spring training appearances for the Cubs, tossing four scoreless innings, before joining Mexico for the World Baseball Classic. Assad pitched three scoreless innings against the United States in pool play and was throwing a few miles per hour faster than he was when he left Cubs camp.

Speaking of the Cubs pitching depth, there are going to be some tough decisions to make leading up to Opening Day when trying to figure out the last few spots in the bullpen.

The Cubs have 11 more spring training games before the start of the regular season.


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Vivyan Laverne
Vivyan Laverne
Mar 17, 2023 6:11 pm


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