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BCB After Dark: Wesneski for the long haul

The late-night/early-morning spot for Cubs fans asks if Hayden Wesneski should stay in the starting rotation

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to another night here at BCB After Dark: the cool corner for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Please come on in and join us. There no cover charge this evening. There are a couple of good tables still available. We’re all drowning our sorrows in our beverages, so I hope you brought your own.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

The Cubs tonight lost to the Nationals, 2-1 in what I’m sure everyone found to be a very frustrating game. I know I did. For one, the Cubs hit into four double plays in this game, and that takes some doing. Two, they were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Three, it was their fourth one-run loss in this roadtrip.

I think the Cubs, as currently constructed, are around a .500 ballclub. I don’t generally think they have the talent of a playoff team, but I do think they can make the playoffs if they get lucky. Well, they sure aren’t getting lucky. I think they can improve as the season goes on, but they’re digging themselves a hole now that will be difficult to emerge from.

Last night I asked you if you thought that Cody Bellinger would return to play for the Cubs in 2024. Most of you seem to agree with me as 78 percent of you think that he won’t. Still, it was worth discussing.

Here’s the part where I talk about jazz and and movies. You’re free to skip ahead to the baseball question at the end. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Tonight we have a performance from saxophonist Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis in Copenhagen in 1985. This is just a year before he died. With what appears to be Ed Thigpen on drums, Niels Jørgen Steen on piano and Jesper Lundgaard on bass, this is “The Shadow of Your Smile.”

I recently watched director John Cassavetes 1976 film The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, starring Ben Gazzara, and I’m planning to write something about it in this space in the coming week. I had hoped to write something about it today, but I really felt that I needed to ruminate on it some more before I put pixels to screen. I watched the edited 108-minute version that’s available on HBO Max and not the original 135-minute version. But just in case you were wondering what’s coming down the pike, I’m letting you know now.

But since the discussion question of “What’s your favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie?” from last week seemed to go fairly well, I thought I’d repeat that by asking about your favorite films from director Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick was an interesting character in his own right. As a director, his career spanned the last ten years of the studio system/Production Code era, all of the “New Hollywood” era and almost the first twenty years of whatever came after that.

If you toss out Kubrick’s first two low-budget indie films made in the early-1950s, his career resumé is quite impressive:

The Killing (1955)—We discussed this one in the Winter Noir Classic.

Paths of Glory (1957)—One of the greatest anti-war films ever made.

Spartacus (1960)—Even though Kubrick and Kirk Douglas fought like dogs during Paths of Glory, they teamed up to make this epic. A classic in every sense.

Lolita (1962)—Controversial at the time and controversial today. Still toned down from the book.

Dr. Strangelove (1964)—Also one of the greatest anti-war films ever made. Also one of the funniest films ever made.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)—Possibly the most divisive “great” film between those who think it’s a masterpiece and those who think it’s trash. But the special effects for 1968 were incredible. Also, it’s fun to ask your phone to open the pod bay doors.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)—Also controversial. Also very violent, which was kind of the point.

Barry Lyndon (1975)—An historical costume drama. A real departure for Kubrick

The Shining (1980)—The best Stephen King adaptation ever? Discuss.

Full Metal Jacket (1987)—Another anti-war film. Always ranked among the top 5 Vietnam War movies ever made.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)—Completed just a week before Kubrick died. Got more attention for starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman than anything else.

I’ve seen all of them except for Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut. I think all of the ones I’ve seen are good (although I’d probably prefer not to watch A Clockwork Orange again) and many of them are classics. I’d say the period of Paths of Glory/Spartacus/Lolita/Dr. Strangelove/2001: A Space Odyssey was about as good a streak as any director has ever had. I’d rank Paths of Glory, Spartacus and Dr. Strangelove among my favorite films of all time.

So, do you have a favorite Stanley Kubrick film?

Welcome back to everyone who skips the music and movies.

Tonight I’m going to ask you about rookie pitcher Hayden Wesneski, who hasn’t been great in his first six starts of the season, but has shown a lot of promise. In fact, while his overall stats are 2-1 with a 4.45 ERA, three of his six starts—as well as two of the last three—have been excellent.

But with Kyle Hendricks in a rehab assignment in Iowa and Jameson Taillon coming off the injured list tomorrow, there isn’t going to be a spot in the rotation for Wesneski. Or is there? That’s the question posed in this article by Joe Trezza: Has Wesneski made his case to stay in the rotation?

Of course, leaving Wesneski in the rotation would mean that someone else would have to leave it. Justin Steele, Marcus Stroman and Drew Smyly are pitching too well to take them out of the rotation, and Jameson Taillon’s contract means he’s going to get a long leash as a starter. And Taillon hasn’t been bad in any case.

So leaving Wesneski in the rotation would probably mean removing Kyle Hendricks. And Hendricks has one career relief appearance and that came in 2016. (Does anyone remember the circumstances of that one? Because I don’t.)

Or would it? The Angels, for example, have gone to a six-man rotation. Other teams have experimented with it for shorter periods of time. For the Cubs, it might make sense to limit Hendricks’ innings, for example. Maybe the Cubs could go with a 5½ man rotation where Hendricks only pitches every ten days or something like that.

But that’s not the question for tonight. Tonight’s question is simply “Should Hayden Wesneski stay in the rotation after Kyle Hendricks comes off the IL?” And if the answer is “no,” do you want him to go to Iowa where he can stay stretched out as a starter, or to the bullpen where he can help the major league team now?


Should Hayden Wesneski stay in the rotation after Kyle Hendricks’ return?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    (106 votes)
  • 10%
    No, send Wesneski to the pen
    (17 votes)
  • 23%
    No, send him to Iowa where he can still start
    (37 votes)
160 votes total Vote Now

That’s all for tonight and that’s all for this week. We’re so glad you’ve joined us during this difficult time. Tough times are always easier when we stick together. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself. Please get home safely. Tip the waitstaff. And join us again next week for another edition of BCB After Dark.