After a disastrous series in Washington, the Cubs righted the ship — mostly — in taking two of three from the Marlins at Wrigley Field. Unfortunately, that could have been a sweep of the Marlins if there had been a timely hit or two.
In any case, .500 isn’t terrible at this stage of the season. Here are this week’s choices for three up and three down.
Hayden Wesneski has righted the ship
After two really bad starts to begin this season, Wesneski has allowed only one run in four of his five starts since then. This week, he started twice, once in D.C., once vs. Miami at Wrigley Field, and threw 12 innings, allowing 10 hits and two runs (1.50 ERA) with eight strikeouts and no walks. In fact, in his last five starts Wesneski has thrown 28x innings and walked only two batters. He’s started to look more like the guy who really impressed everyone last September. Look at the movement on these two pitches:
Hayden Wesneski, Filthy 80mph Sweeper and 94mph Two Seamer. pic.twitter.com/1xL9FyNe4F— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 7, 2023
Michael Fulmer has thrown quality innings recently
Fulmer threw two scoreless innings this past week and now has not allowed a run in his last five outings, in which he’s thrown five innings and allowed one hit and one walk, with five strikeouts.
Overall this year:
Fulmer vs. Dodgers: four games, three innings, eight hits, eight runs, three strikeouts, 24.00 ERA
Fulmer vs. all other teams: 11 games, 9⅓ innings, seven hits, one run, 14 strikeouts, 0.96 ERA
Maybe the Dodgers had a good scouting report or maybe Fulmer was tipping his pitches in those games. In any case, since the Cubs don’t play the Dodgers again this year (barring playoffs), perhaps Fulmer can again be used in higher-leverage situations.
Miguel Amaya just loves being a Cub
Amaya started two of the games over the weekend and looked comfortable both behind the plate and at bat, with two hits in seven at-bats.
Also, he loves to sing:
"This is electric."— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) May 6, 2023
Miguel Amaya joins the Wrigley Field faithful in 'Go Cubs Go' pic.twitter.com/cgBVQL74jJ
Seiya Suzuki finally got a day off
Suzuki went 5-for-19 (.263) over the last week with five strikeouts, and David Ross gave him the afternoon off from the starting lineup Sunday, although he did make a pinch-running appearance.
He got off to a hot start after returning from his oblique injury, but since batting .370/.485/.519 over his first seven games, Suzuki is hitting just .204/.246/.278 (11-for-54) since then with 11 strikeouts.
He’d probably benefit from a day off every week, at least.
Do the Cubs need to consider moving on from Tucker Barnhart?
Barnhart hasn’t hit well most of this year and was 2-for-13 (.154) last week with three strikeouts. The Cubs do have an heir apparent behind the plate in Amaya, but Barnhart has a player option in his contract for 2024.
If he doesn’t start hitting, and soon, the Cubs might have a choice to make.
Brad Boxberger had a rough week
Boxberger served up a walkoff homer to Alex Call on the only pitch he threw last Thursday in Washington, then gave the Marlins their second run Sunday in the eighth inning, a run that proved to be important when the Cubs scored a pair in the ninth.
At this point I think Boxberger has to be taken out of high-leverage situations. Fulmer might be able to return to them at this point.
Kyle Hendricks might return to the Cubs rotation soon. What should they do at that point?
This poll is closed
Send Hayden Wesneski to Triple-A Iowa
Move Wesneski to the bullpen as a long reliever/spot starter
Something else (leave in comments)