Pitching depth a top priority for Cubs’ Hoyer

One day into the season, the Cubs were already down two starting pitchers. Justin Steele (hamstring) and Jameson Taillon (back) are on the injured list and expected to miss a few weeks.

The Cubs seemed to be in better shape with pitching depth than the rest of the NL Central, but are already scrambling to fill starting slots.

“I do feel like we have a lot more pitching depth than anytime since I've been here, but does it keep me up at night? Absolutely,” president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “Right now we're down two starters. We have options, but the idea that it's unlimited is not true.”

The Cubs announced after Tuesday’s 12-2 win over Colorado that Luke Little, who pitched the ninth inning, will get the start in Wednesday’s series finale against the Rockies. Rookie Ben Brown is likely to also figure into the team’s plans on the mound, weather permitting.

“Ben's definitely going to be part of that solution,” Hoyer said Monday.

Brown's MLB debut in relief at Texas last Saturday went well for one inning, but he was tagged for 6 runs in his second inning of work.

Wary of weather

Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer suggested Thursday could be used as a makeup date if needed, since both the Cubs and Rockies are off. The weather forecast for Wednesday is not promising.

Typically, MLB schedules a day off after home openers, but that wasn't the case for the Cubs this week.

“I feel bad for the players a little bit, honestly,” Hoyer said. “They get back (from Texas) Sunday night at 10, and quick turnaround (for Monday's day game). These guys have lives and families and they want to unpack their suitcase and move into their apartment and having that Day 2 off day allows guys to have that day to unpack and feel human.”

This was bad timing for bad weather, since both the Cubs and White Sox are playing at home, against non-division teams that make just one visit per season. The Sox are scheduled to play in Kansas City on Thursday.

Around the horn

Two players on the injured list made small steps toward getting healthy. Jameson Taillon (back) threw live batting practice Tuesday in Arizona and Patrick Wisdom (back) hit against him. … Garrett Cooper started at first base for the first time as a Cub on Tuesday and tripled in his first at-bat. … The winds of change were drastic at Wrigley. It went from blowing straight in at 12 miles per hour in the opener to blowing out at 20 mph Tuesday.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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