As expected, lefty Jordan Wicks has been promoted and he’ll take the bump Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, his spot on the active roster was created by placing righty reliever Michael Fulmer on the 15-day IL with a right forearm strain. While that could end up being relatively innocuous as we saw with Justin Steele earlier in the season, these injuries can linger or even be precursors of something worse.
Wicks is 7-0 with a 3.55 ERA in 20 starts between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa this season, walking 32 and striking out 99 over 91.1 innings. He has pitched to a 1.18 WHIP and held opponents to a .223 batting average, a .293 on-base percentage, and a .393 slugging percentage. His changeup was graded as the best in his 2021 draft class and has helped carry him quickly though the minors.
Fulmer is 3-5 with a 4.47 ERA, 11 holds, and one save in 57 games for Chicago this season. A rough start marred those numbers and lingers in some fans’ perception of him, but Fulmer has been nails since late May and has escaped several jams in high-leverage situations. His loss will hurt for at least the next two weeks, though the Cubs do have several relief options available on the 60-day IL and in the minors.