The Cubs made a series of transactions Monday evening, the most notable of which is the promotion of righty Hayden Wesneski. Acquired from the Yankees in exchange for reliever Scott Effross, the 24-year-old Wesneski has looked very good in three appearances after opening his Cubs tenure with two very rough starts. His most recent appearance came in relief, setting up the possibility that he’ll be eased into a starting role similar to how the Cubs used Adbert Alzolay, Keegan Thompson, and Justin Steele.
Speaking of which, Steele has been placed on the 15-day IL retroactive to September 2 due to the low back issue that forced an early exit from his last start on August 26. The lefty had allowed just four earned runs over his last seven starts and had 47 strikeouts with 13 walks in 36.2 innings, largely on the strength of his tremendous fastball. He has effectively become the ace of the staff and still has a fair bit of projection left.
Steele’s placement on the IL opens a spot on the active roster for Wesneski, but the Cubs still needed to clear room on the 40-man. They did that by designating Kervin Castro for assignment just a little more than a month after they claimed him from the Giants. Castro was 0-1 with a 10.22 ERA this season and, while his ERA was a little better if you discount his San Francisco production, he was giving up way too much contact.
It would be nice to see the front office make a few more moves like this over the final month of the season, getting a jump on some of those 40-man decisions that are going to have to be made by December. They’ll need to clear another spot on Tuesday to make room for Wade Miley, though that’s hardly the same as seeing what one of their prospects can do at the next level.
If Wesneski has that slider working, he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.