Chicago Cubs right-handed relief pitcher Rowan Wick hasn’t pitched in a big league game since September 16, 2020, because of a left oblique strain. The 28-year-old made his first rehab assignment outing with the South Bend Cubs on Saturday night. It was an impressive performance. Wick struck out the side using a nasty curveball and a fastball that sat at 94 MPH in his lone inning of work. And reportedly, his fastball touched 99 MPH.
This is an excellent sign for the Cubs, as the future is uncertain for key bullpen arms Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Chafin, and Ryan Tepera. Because of their value to contending teams, all three could find themselves on a new ball club before the trade deadline. The Cubs will need a few good options to fill their shoes.
The Cubs acquired Wick on November 20, 2018 when they sent Jason Vosler to the Padres in exchange for him. Before Craig Kimbrel regained his dominant form, Wick was the favorite high leverage reliever to take his job if the struggles continued. In 50 career games with the Cubs, he’s notched six saves and ten holds, with a 2.66 ERA, 2.77 FIP, and 9.8 K/9.
If striking out the side is any indication he’s healthy, he could be back with the parent club soon. Cubs fans, get excited! Imagine a future box score filled with their 2021 first-round draft pick Jordan Wicks, Brad Wieck, and Rowan Wick. It won’t come this season because Jordan Wicks will take some time to develop, and Brad Wieck is currently on the IL with an irregular heartbeat. But how cool would that be? I can already hear the puns. Light the Wicks, this smells like a victory, even if only a small one.