While I’m not willing to back off of the idea that Adrian Sampson may be penciled in as the Cubs’ fifth starter, Hayden Wesneski did everything he could in his first start to hand David Ross a pen for his own name. The 25-year-old righty struck out the first two batters he faced Wednesday afternoon, both swinging, then got two more Ks in the 2nd inning. And the thing is, he didn’t really seem to be trying all that hard.
Hayden Wesneski struck out 4 in 2 IP in his first spring start! pic.twitter.com/ucFJOkv9N0
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 1, 2023
Not that he appeared to be lackadaisical, mind you, just that he was simply out there pitching his game and enjoying the outing with zero betrayal of whatever pressure he may have been feeling. Given his cocksure demeanor, Wesneski no doubt relished the opportunity to go out there and prove that he deserves a chance to take the bump every fifth day for the Cubs.
His breaking stuff is gross, his elevated fastball gets whiffs, and his ability to move his different pitches around in the zone keeps hitters guessing. If he keeps pitching like this, Ross can go ahead and use a Sharpie when filling out the last spot in the rotation.