Sometimes, baseball gives you a story that is just too good not to enjoy completely, regardless of the baseball impact.
In 2011, lefty Danny Hultzen was the second overall pick in a loaded draft, was immediately signed to a big league contract, and was on a hyper-fast path to the big leagues. But serious injury issues, among other things, popped up, and he was out of baseball before he ever made The Show. More on his story here.
The guy kept grinding, though, and ultimately wound up back in baseball, in the Cubs organization, in the Spring of 2018. He has worked ever since then to get himself into the position he’s in now: being called up to the Major Leagues for the first time.
The lefty has been dominant at Iowa this year, even if only in 14.1 innings of work: 1.26 ERA, 39.0% K rate, 0 homers allowed, 15.3% BB rate (ok, that one is not good). He is unlikely to emerge as a late-inning threat for the Cubs in the way Brad Wieck quickly has, and there are still questions about his ability to pitch back-to-back days, but still. He’ll get to appear in big league games for the first time, and then the Cubs can see what’s what for the offseason.
Since Hultzen is not on the 40-man, the Cubs will need to open up a spot to accommodate him, either by DFA’ing someone on the 40-man, or putting someone on the 60-day IL. That move is TBA.