Brad Wieck has been limited to 59 2/3 innings over his four big league seasons, as the Cubs left-hander has been hampered by a series of concerning health problems. After being treated for testicular cancer in 2019, Wieck has faced heart issues in each of the last two years — a cardiac ablation in 2020, and then surgery last year to address an atrial fibrillation. “I’ve had to deal with a lot in my career, but it’s one more thing that’s made me who I am,” Wieck told Mark Gonzales of The Daily Herald. “I take pride in what’s made me, and all I can do is continue to work.”
The good news is that Wieck was cleared for baseball activity, and said “as of now, I feel great” as he ramps up for the 2022 season with a series of bullpen sessions. Despite a 14.1% walk rate last season, Wieck didn’t allow a single earned run over 17 innings of work, and the southpaw has an impressive 35.9% strikeout rate over his brief MLB career. In a Cubs bullpen that is lacking in surefire options, Wieck certainly looks like a candidate to win a job, and perhaps serve as the Cubs’ top left-handed reliever.
More from around the National League….
- Multiple teams have approached Brandon Gomes with interview requests over his five years with the Dodgers, but Gomes consistently turned down those other opportunities to remain in Los Angeles. Speaking with Jack Harris of The L.A. Times and other reporters, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman noted that Gomes was being sought after for several different roles, and “there aren’t a lot of people that you can say that about, that really are qualified to do so many different things.” This versatility will continue to apply to Gomes’ new position as the Dodgers’ general manager, as Friedman said that Gomes’ specific day-to-day duties will evolve and “we’ll figure out what makes the most sense at any given time.”
- “Given their roster construction, no team wants the designated hitter in the National League in 2022 as much as the Phillies,” NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Corey Seidman writes. The Phillies aren’t a strong defensive team, and they have several veterans who battled injuries in 2021 and could benefit from the partial off-day provided by a DH spot. However, the universal DH might also lessen the chances of a reunion between the Phils and Brad Miller, as Miller will have even more job opportunities open to him in free agency should the 14 other NL teams all have need for extra position player depth.