Cubs Roster Moves: James Norwood Recalled, Rowan Wick Optioned to AAA
The Cubs made another roster move at the back end of the bullpen Friday, calling righty James Norwood up to Chicago and optioning fellow righty Rowan Wick to Triple-A Iowa. Wick had just made his Cubs debut Thursday against the Phillies, allowing a run on two hits while notching one strikeout. But tis the season for streaming, and I don’t mean Netflix.
As the Cubs head into the heart of their schedule without the benefit of two off-days each week, they’re going to fire up the Iowa Shuttle in earnest. Which means a lot of this shuffling to keep a fresh, new arm in the ‘pen at all times. The moves could slow down a bit once Pedro Strop returns to the roster, but that’s likely a week away yet.
Norwood debuted with the Cubs last season and electrified with his big fastball, to the extent that many believed he could be a legit contributor this season. He’s still pretty raw, though, and the Cubs wanted him to get a little more seasoning before calling him up again.
With a 1-0 record, three saves, and a 4.95 ERA, the popular stats don’t say much about his work in Iowa. The 25 strikeouts (11.25 K/9) and only seven walks (3.15 BB/9) over 20 innings carry a lot of weight, though.
The 25-year-old righty can touch triple digits with the fastball and has a split-finger that can be devastating when used properly. He also has a slider, which, unlike that of Dillon Maples, is more of a get-me-over offering. Norwood may throw the slide-piece early to throw hitters off, it’s just not a frisbee.
He can be a dude if he’s locating that heater and getting the splitter to disappear, but don’t expect a sudden solution to the Cubs’ bullpen issues. You never know, though, maybe he can put it together and show out for a while. If nothing else, it’s fun to see those big readings on the radar gun.