PHILADELPHIA — When left-hander Brad Wieck first felt the pain in his arm at the start of spring training, he expected he’d be able to avoid Tommy John surgery. But on Friday, the Cubs announced that Wieck had undergone the operation over the All-Star break.
“He’s been through a ton,” manager David Ross said. “We text back and forth a little bit, and he said everything went well, just got back in Arizona and fixed to start the grind. So that says it all. He knows what’s ahead of him.”
The arm injury has delayed Wieck’s return from a second heart operation in the span of two years. Entering spring training, Wieck told the Sun-Times he felt great six months removed from a procedure to treat atrial -fibrillation.
“This guy just keeps getting knocked down but picks himself back up,” Ross said. “And he was in a really good place before he got hurt. He put in a lot of work in the offseason. The strength and the mass he had put on, you can visibly see it.”
Wieck, already towering at 6-8, never had the chance to show what he could do with that added strength. But he knows what’s ahead because he has gone through Tommy John surgery before, a little over a decade ago.
Wieck posted a photo of himself in an arm brace to Twitter on Thursday, with the caption: “Who loves a good comeback story?”
Juan Soto watch
In the wake of Juan Soto turning down a 15-year, $440 million contract extension offer from the Nationals, Ross made it clear that any manager would love to add a young star with multiple years of club control ahead of him.
“Acquiring talent, young talent, is something that’s definitely been on our radar for a long time,” Ross said. “I leave all that stuff to the front office.”
Ross is aware that he neither plots the road map to the next championship window nor signs the checks to put the plan into -action.
But with the Cubs on track to be sellers at the trade deadline again, who wouldn’t be tempted to picture how the addition of a player like Soto could swing a rebuild?
Second baseman Nick Madrigal (strained left groin) returned to his rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Friday, the Cubs announced. He left his rehab assignment a couple weeks ago with tightness in his groin, and he spent the week before the All-Star break working out in Chicago as a precaution.
• Lefty Wade Miley threw a 32-pitch bullpen Friday, a significant step for the veteran who several weeks ago shut down his throwing and had a cortisone shot. The Cubs will evaluate his recovery Saturday.
• Right-hander Adbert Alzolay (right shoulder strain) has progressed to throwing bullpens, but there is no firm timeline for his next steps.
• Right-hander Manuel Rodríguez (right elbow strain), who started the season with Triple-A Iowa before getting hurt, also has started throwing bullpens without a timeline for his return. He isn’t eligible to return from the 60-day IL until the end of the month.