Record – 68-81
The Iowa Cubs saw a lot of turnover again this year. By early June they had already suited up over 50 players. Struggles by the big league club necessitated that Chicago’s roster comes first, as it always does. When 60% of your starting rotation goes up to the majors, that puts a little dent in things.
For manager Marty Pevey, it was a different group of players that he had to evaluate each week based upon who the big league club needed or didn’t need. He sort of had to cobble together a pitching staff from who they gave him almost on a day-to-day basis.
As for the hitting side of things, hitters went off the rails pretty early when Donnie Dewees was injured as well as Brennen Davis. We saw a few players come up and then go back down to Tennessee then back over the course of the year.
But in the second half of the year, the arrival of Matt Mervis and Alexander Canario made things pretty exciting to watch. Up until that point, it was hurry up and wait for them to call up Darius Hill to Chicago, which the Cubs never did.
For many of the Iowa players, the first six weeks of the off-season could be pretty tenuous because the roster contains quite a few upcoming minor league free agents. Whether the Cubs re-sign them is still up in the air or they may be added to the 40 man.
Hitting (200 ABs)
Avg – Darius Hill .318
HR – John Hicks 20
RBI – Narciso Crook 67
OPS – Matt Mervis .977
wRC+ – Matt Mervis – 152
Starting Pitching (30 IP)
IP – Caleb Kilian – 106.2
Ks – Caleb Kilian – 125
K/9 – Caleb Kilian – 10.55
ERA – Javier Assad – 2.95
Batting Average Against – Cam Sanders – .206
Relievers (20 innings minimum)
ERA – Connor Menez – 2.18
Ks – Cayne Ueckert – 63
K/9 – Eric Stout – 14.56
Batting Average Against – Sean Newcomb – .148
2023 Sneak Peek
For the first time in quite a while, there should be a lot of turnover in Des Moines next summer. Canario and Brennen Davis should begin next year in AAA along with Darius Hill, if he doesn’t get taken in the Rule Five. Yonathan Perlaza, who should be added to the 40 man roster here in the next month or so, will probably be in Des Moines if he is still a Cub. Chase Strumpf and Andy Weber along with Bryce Ball and Jake Slaughter will be able to form a new infield and we might even see Bryce Windham and Harrison Wenson at Iowa to start the year.
As for the pitching, that is up in the air. It’s unclear right now just with the Cubs are going to do at the major league level. They could get one or two free agents or make a trade. I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of pitching movement from Tennessee. We might see Riley Thompson come up to Iowa along with Chris Clarke and Walker Powell and the latter two guys might actually move to the bullpen. Jordan Wicks and Ryan Jensen are not quite ready for this level.
Hayden Wesneski will probably be given every opportunity to win a starting job in spring training at Chicago as the fourth or fifth starter. Then again that all depends upon who the Cubs go out and acquire to solidify the top of the rotation.
The bullpen should be pretty well stacked with Jeremiah Estrada if he doesn’t make the big league club. We might also see Ben Leeper still in Iowa along with Cayne Ueckert and Danis Correa. It should be stacked. Iowa might also see Bailey Horn arrive from Tennessee along with Blake Whitney. There are a lot of relievers that are a step away in Tennessee who need some more seasoning at that level when it comes to pitching. Zac Leigh is one who should be ready for Iowa by midsummer, if not sooner.
How many minor league free agent pitchers the parent club signs this winter to fortify the depth at Triple-A will be one of the most interesting stories of the winter.