Rookie Hayden Wesneski stays ‘on a roll’ in Cubs’ 4-2 win against Phillies

After rookie Hayden Wesneki’s last start, in Pittsburgh, he was asked if pitching in the big-leagues is as easy as he’s made it look. He chuckled.

“No, it’s really not,” he said. “There’s a lot of preparation that goes into it. Plus, I have two great catchers that helped me out with this kind of stuff – and then the staff on top of it. They’ve made it really easy to be comfortable here. But no, I’m just on a roll right now.”

That roll continued into Wednesday against the Phillies at Wrigley Field. In the Cubs’ 4-2 winhe held Philadelphia to one run through five-plus innings.

That gave him a 2.33 ERA through five outings. All three of his starts have been at least five innings, and he has yet to allow more than two runs in a start.

“He knows what he wants to do,” Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. “He knows what makes him successful. That, in and of itself, is such a huge thing for young guys to be able to do when they come up. … Yes, we’re going to be able to find ways to continue to work on things and home things in, but his knowledge of himself, what makes him tick, what makes him good, I think is the key foundation for what he does.”

Things won’t always look this easy. As Wesneski pitches more, as happens with all rookies, teams around the league will get more information on him. And once they have more detailed scouting reports on him, he’ll have to adjust.

On a smaller scale, he’s already gone through part of that process. He realized that even though his slider has good movement, big-league hitters are going to be able to get ahold of it if he’s always throwing it in the middle of the plate. He adjusted before his first start and has even thrown a slider-heavy immaculate inning since.

“He knows that if things go awry, he has a bad outing or two, it’s not back to the drawing board changing everything,” Hottovy said. “It’s like minor adjustments, minor things, and he just gets better.”

Steele running out of season

Lefty Justin Steele “threw really well,” in his bullpen Tuesday, according to manager David Ross, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be back from the injured list this season.

Steele (low back strain) is scheduled for another high-intensity bullpen. After that, Hottovy said, the Cubs will determine whether they want Steele to get in a game for a couple innings or turn his attention to the offseason, knowing he ended this year healthy.

“It just makes sense to me to just go ahead and send him off on a high note,” Ross said, “to make sure he’s healthy and let him go ahead and start implementing the routine and the [offseason] program.”

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