The Cubs announced that left-hander Brad Wieck has been placed on the 60-day injured list due to a left elbow strain. The placement creates a 40-man roster spot for Chris Martin, whose one-year deal with the Cubs is now official.
While Martin’s signing is one of several pitching additions made by the Cubs within the last week, the loss of Wieck for 60 days is a significant blow to the relief corps. According to multiple reporters (including The Chicago Tribune’s Meghan Montemurro), Wieck’s elbow problem surfaced while he was throwing a bullpen session earlier this week.
After missing time due to testicular cancer and two separate heart issues over the last three seasons, Wieck has already dealt with more than his share of health concerns during his brief big league career. Wieck has tossed 59 2/3 innings in The Show since his debut with the Padres in 2018, and he came to Chicago in the July 2019 deadline day trade that sent Carl Edwards Jr. to San Diego.
Wieck has racked up plenty of strikeouts (35.9% K-rate) during his career, even if his 9.7% walk rate and 15.4% homer rate are both on the high side. Though Wieck walked 10 batters during his 17 innings of work last year, he avoided damage en route to a perfect 0.00 ERA for the 2021 season.
It provided a nice platform heading into the coming campaign, but Wieck will now be sidelined until at least the back half of May. Wieck was penciled in as Chicago’s top left-handed relief option, and the recently-signed Daniel Norris may now take the lead as the first-choice southpaw until Wieck is healthy.