According to Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register, lefty Jordan Wicks is no longer with the Iowa Cubs in Indianapolis because he is headed to Pittsburgh for the weekend. Those who’ve been following these developments already know that Wicks was scratched from his Wednesday start and that Drew Smyly, who was originally slated to start on Sunday, has been moved back to the bullpen.
I’m told that Jordan Wicks is no longer with the @IowaCubs in Indianapolis. Hearing a start over the weekend, possibly Saturday, could be next for him.
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) August 25, 2023
Getting the Sunday start would set Wicks up to take the mound in one of the two games against the Reds next Friday with Javier Assad taking the other. Since Wicks has already had a bunch of rest due to the scratch, however, the Cubs might want to have him go on Saturday and then give Assad another day off. With no game on Thursday, Wicks would have five days off and Assad would be on regular rest for the doubleheader.
Either way, the matchup against the Pirates provides a soft landing for Wicks on paper because they’re one of the worst teams in baseball when it comes to facing southpaws. The Reds are in the bottom half of the league as well, so getting that double-dip against softer opponents is as good a way as any to get Wicks started. With that in mind, we should not expect the young man to go out there and dominate right out of the gate.
What we should expect is a bulldog mentality and solid pitchability highlighted by a 60/70-grade changeup that allows his other stuff to play up. He repeats his low-effort delivery well and could establish himself as a back-end starter in short order if he’s able to continue locating well. Debuts are fun and winning makes them that much better, so this could be an exciting weekend for the Cubs.
Ed. note: The initial version of this post had Jameson Taillon as the other weekend/DH starter.