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Cubs calling up top pitching prospect, will start Saturday against Pittsburgh

10 months agoTony Andracki

The Cubs are planning to call up one of their top pitching prospects in left-hander Jordan Wicks:

Wicks will start Saturday’s game against the Pirates. Javier Assad, originally scheduled to start Saturday, was pushed back a day and will start in Sunday’s finale in Pittsburgh. To make room on the 26-man roster, the Cubs placed reliever Michael Fulmer on the 15-day IL, retroactive to Friday, with a right forearm strain. Fulmer has been a key cog for the Cubs’ bullpen and has a 4.47 ERA with 11 holds and has a 2.52 ERA since May 28.  

This is a move that has been expected for a few days, as it was reported on Wednesday that Wicks was scratched from his start in Triple-A Iowa and the move was not injury-related.

In an interview with Marquee Sports Network Thursday, Jed Hoyer confirmed Wicks was scratched and an injury was not the reason, though he did not indicate a promotion was in the works.

Wicks will turn 24 on Sept. 1 and was a 1st-round pick (21st overall) in the 2021 MLB Draft.

The southpaw has spent his entire career as a starter. He is 11-6 with a 3.73 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 48 minor league starts. He is listed at No. 5 on Lance Brozdowski’s preseason Cubs prospect rankings.

Wicks started this season at Double-A Tennessee and moved up to Triple-A midway through the year. He has performed well at Iowa with a 3-0 record, 3.82 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 30 strikeouts in 33 innings.

The Cubs moved Drew Smyly to the bullpen again this week as the veteran has had prolonged struggles in the rotation over the last couple months. With Marcus Stroman on the IL and Assad already starting, that leaves an opening in the rotation this weekend.

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