Hayden Wesneski had a perfectly wholesome reaction when he found out he was getting called up to majors
Hayden Wesneski was on his way to pick up something for breakfast at a gas station in Jacksonville, Fla. when his phone rang.
He got off the phone and did a double take.
Iowa Cubs manager Marty Pevey had called him and he was in disbelief. Pevey had told him he had just gotten called up to the majors and would join the team the following day in Chicago. But he hadn’t heard anything else from the organization, so he wasn’t positive if his mind was playing a trick on him — the team had had a late night of travel, arriving in Jacksonville after midnight on Monday morning.
“I wasn’t sure if [Pevey] called me,” Wesneski said.
So, he called his dad to tell him the good news, but his dad didn’t pick up the first time. The next time he tried, he got an answer.
“I told my dad, ‘I think I got pulled up. I wasn’t sure. I haven’t gotten any text messages,’” Wesneski said. “He goes, ‘well I can’t tell anybody that until you figure it out for real.’”
Wesneski soon realized everything was real and he wasn’t making anything up. He picked up a cold brew coffee from the gas station and prepared to head to Chicago for his major league debut.
“Breakfast went out the window,” Wesneski joked.
He made his debut Tuesday at Wrigley Field, piggybacking off of Wade Miley (who was returning from three months on the IL).
The Cubs plan to use Wesneski out of the bullpen as he settles into majors, similar to the approach they took last year with Keegan Thompson and Justin Steele. After a rough first start in his debut with Iowa, Wesneski settled in, striking out 18 batters in 14 innings across 3 starts. In his last outing with Iowa, he was brought out of the bullpen, in preparation for his big-league role.
“Yeah it’s worked for them, why can’t it work for me, you know?” Wesneski said. “It’s something that the Cubs like to do and you just kinda have to get used to it. I mean I do wanna get my feet wet somehow and if that’s how we have to it, that’s how we have to it.”
It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for Wesneski, who was acquired just before the trade deadline from the Yankees for reliever Scott Effross. With the Yankees, there was a running joke among minor leaguers of where they’d get traded to.
“There’s teams that you have in mind and the Cubs weren’t one of them,” Wesneski said.
He walked into the Iowa Cubs clubhouse not knowing anyone on the team but when he joined the big-league team at Wrigley Field, there was one familiar face in assistant pitching coach Daniel Moskos, who worked with Wesneski in the Yankees’ minor league system.
“It makes it a lot easier,” Wesneski said. “When I go out to play catch today, I can figure out my catch partner. That’s something that you don’t think about. It makes everything easier you get to meet the big-league pitching coach a little bit easier. It makes it more comfortable for you.”
And he’s part of the Cubs’ youth movement, one that’s reached the majors, and has seen some of it firsthand at the minor league level.
“They’re very mature,” Wesneski said. “They go to work every day. They enjoy baseball. They talk about baseball. They’re good dudes. I know that’s something that gets passed up on because all you see [is] the playing side, but they’re really good people.”