Cubs reliever Brad Wieck underwent Tommy John surgery this week, the team informed reporters (including Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune). Given the timing of the procedure, it seems likely he’ll miss the bulk or all of the 2023 season.
Wieck has spent the entire 2022 campaign on the 60-day injured list. He was diagnosed with an elbow strain in Spring Training, and efforts to rehab over the past few months have apparently proven unsuccessful. He’ll obviously not pitch this year and could miss two full seasons depending on his recovery timetable.
It’s a brutal blow for Wieck, who may have featured into the high-leverage mix for Chicago if healthy. He tossed 17 scoreless innings last season, striking out a whopping 39.4% of batters faced. The left-hander battled some shaky control, but he’d still been one of the Cubs best relievers through the first half. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and was shut down early in July.
The only silver lining is that Wieck will collect a major league salary and a full year of service time while recovering this season. He’ll surpass the three-year service threshold this year, qualifying for arbitration for the first time. The 30-year-old’s salary would be fairly modest given all his time lost to injury, but the Cubs could still non-tender him rather than reinstate him to the 40-man roster over the offseason.