The Cubs already started their roster shuffle earlier today, reinstating tonight’s starting pitcher (Jake Arrieta) and second baseman (Nico Hoerner), while returning Nick Martini and Jason Adam to Triple-A Iowa. But there’s more where that came from, because now Dan Winkler has been activated, as well.
That move comes at the expense of left-hander Brad Wieck:
#Cubs activate Dan Winkler from the IL. LHP Brad Wieck optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
— Taylor McGregor (@Taylor_McGregor) May 14, 2021
With one righty (Winkler) in and one lefty (Wieck) out, the Cubs are down to three lefties in the bullpen, though all three could realistically be considered full-inning guys (Rex Brothers, Andrew Chafin, Justin Steele). Four was a lot.
Winkler returns to a solid 27.3% strikeout rate and a pretty awful 15.9% walk rate, but plenty of weak contact (25.0 hard%, 87.6 MPH avg. exit velo) that helped lead to a 0.84 ERA. Those results will not continue, but it’s just a reminder that he was technically getting the job done.
As for Wieck, he hasn’t quite lived up to those exciting first impressions, but a 6’8″ lefty is a good pitcher to have around.
Unrelated, but notable, Ian Happ is making progress and could conceivably be available this series. We’ll just have to see how he feels. There’s a lefty on the mound tonight and Sunday, so if he’s not ready to go my tomorrow, I wonder if the Cubs will just hold off until Monday either way.
Ross says of Ian Happ: "Hopefully he's getting really close."
Plan is to have Happ go through a range of baseball activities pregame today (outfield work, hitting, etc) and see how he comes through it today and into tomorrow.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 14, 2021