Codi Heuer came over to the Cubs with Nick Madrigal as part of the Craig Kimbrel trade in 2021 and he looked really good in the second half after working to differentiate his fastballs. The lanky righty missed all of 2022 due to elbow reconstruction and only started throwing again during spring training, but he’s been lighting up the radar gun for Triple-A Iowa and should be activated from the 60-day IL as soon as he’s eligible on May 29.
Codi Heuer with scoreless inning tonight for the @IowaCubs.
Here’s a little glimpse of what it looked like. pic.twitter.com/g5jJw2OwQ0
— Alex Cohen (@voiceofcohen2) May 25, 2023
His fastball has been sitting around 98-99 mph, which is about three ticks higher than he was throwing in ’21. That alone should make him more effective, but his changeup was his best offering on a per-pitch basis that season and his slider is a big strikeout pitch for him. The breaking ball has been a bit of a mystery for him so far in his rehab, but it sounds like he’s starting to get the hang of it again.
“I’ve been trying to feel that slider out, it’s been tough coming back,” Heuer told CI following a recent outing in Indianapolis. “It’s been kinda the last pitch that I got that feel for, so today getting that punchout was great. Naturally, I’m good at making the ball go that way [accompanying hand motions], changeup’s always been my thing. So that was easy coming back. Slider’s been a little difficult, just working on some direction stuff and it’s helping out.”
Codi Heuer after his rehab appearance tonight. pic.twitter.com/HlwMgcdx00
— Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) May 17, 2023
Many will no doubt look at his gaudy 9.95 ERA across seven outings for the I-Cubs, but context is far more important than box score numbers in this case. Getting Heuer back in the bullpen will provide a big lift and make David Ross‘s decision-making a lot easier.