The Cubs have used scores of relief pitchers already this spring, cycling through nearly every non-roster invitee in addition to the full force of the 40-man roster as they seek to solidify the bullpen. Tuesday’s game will see a few more spring debuts, though one very likely candidate for the Opening Day roster has yet to pitch and is currently absent from the team.
Big lefty Brad Wieck, acquired from the Padres in exchange for Carl Edwards Jr. at last season’s trade deadline is not in Mesa at the moment. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say simply that he’s not with the Cubs at Sloan Park, since the team has not provided any specifics at this point.
Wieck had control problems during his time with the Padres, but worked some things out in the minors and developed a spike curve upon joining the Cubs. He struck out 18 men and walked just four over 10 innings after being called up late in the season, pitching better against righties than lefties. That kind of performance is something the Cubs could really use as they head into 2020 with a bullpen that has more questions than answers.
The lack of clarity regarding his status is par for the course when it comes to personal matters, so we’ll operate under the assumption that it’s no more serious than the Cubs respecting Wieck’s privacy. The team will offer an update once the big southpaw returns, though we don’t know at that point when it will be.