Rowan Wick looked like the Cubs’ closer of the future for a while there, but his breakout 2019 performance was followed by two seasons in which an intercostal issue limited him to 50.2 innings over 50 appearances. He came back to log 64 innings in as many appearances last season, picking up nine saves along the way, but his strikeout numbers were down and his velocity was neither high nor consistent enough to be a full-time stopper.
The 30-year-old didn’t break camp with the big club this year and made 23 appearances with the Iowa Cubs, striking out 35 batters over 30.1 innings. However, he walked 19 more and gave up 34 hits in that same time, resulting in 29 earned runs. Putting up an 8.60 ERA with a .279 batting average and nine homers allowed isn’t going to earn you a trip back to the bigs.
In fact, it was enough for the Cubs to decide that Wick no longer needs to be part of the organization. As Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register reported Saturday afternoon, the team has released the righty after five years. Over 146 innings in the same number of games with the Cubs, Wick had a 3.82 ERA with 160 strikeouts and 20 saves.
The Cubs have released RHP Rowan Wick. Wick has spent the entire season with the @IowaCubs. He appeared in 146 games with the Cubs over 4 seasons.
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) July 15, 2023
This clearly isn’t a surprising move in light of his performance, though it’s still disappointing in that he looked for a while like a potential impact reliever. Just another example of how fickle bullpens can be and how quickly talent can fade at the highest level of the game. Best wishes to Wick in whatever the next step is for him.