Cubs Promote Hayden Wesneski to Help Bullpen Amid Series of Moves

The Cubs made a series of moves to freshen up a bullpen that has underperformed while being overworked lately, bringing in two new arms and clearing a spot on the 40-man. Daniel Palencia and Luke Little have been optioned to Triple-A Iowa and have been replaced by Hayden Wesneski and Colten Brewer. In order to make room for Brewer on the roster, Julian Merryweather has been placed on the 60-day IL.

Brewer is a 31-year-old righty who has logged a total of 99.1 innings over parts of five seasons with the Padres, Red Sox, and Yankees. He has pitched fewer than 10 MLB innings since 2020 and doesn’t have much in his history to suggest he’s an impact arm, though he does have a 1.17 ERA with nine strikeouts and two walks over 7.2 innings with Iowa.

This appears to be a matter of leaning on a little expendable depth, as Brewer can work more than three outs at a time and isn’t viewed as a big part of the future. Wesneski has made two starts and one long relief outing in which he went 4.1 innings, so he’ll provide a lot more length than either of the two pitchers who’ve been sent down.

Now we wait to see how the Cubs make room for Taillon, whether it’s optioning another pitcher or letting Kyle Hendricks rest a potential injury that could be limiting him. Both Jed Hoyer and Tommy Hottovy have stated publicly that they’re bullish on the righty’s ability to bounce back, though that’s pretty much what they have to say. Still, it doesn’t sound as though an IL stint is in his immediate future.

We’ll have more on these topics as they develop.

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