Cubs plan to move Drew Smyly back to bullpen


PITTSBURGH – Cubs lefty Drew Smyly was penciled in as the probable starter against the Pirates on Sunday, but president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said Thursday that he expects Smyly to pitch out of the bullpen. 

The Cubs temporarily moved Smyly to the bullpen for two weeks earlier this month, as his ERA ballooned to 5.05, despite a strong first two months of the season. In three relief appearances, he allowed just three hits and didn’t surrender a run. 

When he returned to the rotation on Tuesday, however, Smyly gave up seven runs in 3 ⅔ innings. 

The move appears to open an opportunity for left-handed prospect Jordan Wicks, although when asked, Hoyer said “no comment.” Wicks has posted a 2.29 ERA in his last four Triple-A starts. He was a healthy scratch from his last scheduled outing for Iowa on Wednesday. 

The Cubs also have rookie right-hander Hayden Wesneski, who began the season in the rotation but has since moved the bullpen, on the active roster. He could be another option as the Cubs figure out their rotation down the stretch with Marcus Stroman (right rib cartilage fracture) on the IL. 


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