The Chicago Cubs are already facing plenty of questions about the makeup of their bullpen, and two key relievers will be slow out of the gate in spring training, as Rowan Wick and Kyle Ryan aren’t expected to join the team right away for workouts in Mesa.
Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer said Tuesday that Wick is still dealing with an intercostal injury, and that he will be slowly worked into the mix at the start of camp in Arizona.
Wick was placed on the injured list at the end of the 2020 season with a left oblique strain, and he is still working his way back to full health, Hoyer said.
In 19 appearances for the Cubs last season, the 28-year-old posted an 0-1 record with a 3.12 ERA. He struck out 20 batters and scattered 18 hits while picking up four saves for the North Siders.
Ryan will likely be delayed in going through COVID-19 protocols, Hoyer said, but didn’t elaborate on where exactly the hurler is in that process.
He did, however, caution fans and journalists to be patient when it comes to the intake process, which is a lot more involved this year both because of current COVID protocols and because of safety protocols in place to ensure the safety and health of individuals who have had the virus in the past.
“There’s going to be a lot of delays with these protocols. People that have had COVID in the past might have to go through pretty extensive cardiology tests and things like that, and that could take some time,” Hoyer said. “I would hesitate to think there’s any reason for alarm (because of that.) Every team in (Arizona) is going to be dealing with that.”
In his second season with the Cubs, Ryan posted a 1-0 record in 18 appearances, with a 5.17 ERA and 11 strikeouts. He struggled with his command at times, giving up five home runs in just 15.2 innings of work.