Cubs postpone pitching issues, game with Marlins

The Cubs returned home from a nine-game West Coast trip, took some batting practice at Wrigley Field, then postponed Thursday's game against Miami due to impending bad weather.

The teams will play a split doubleheader on Saturday, at 1:20 and 6:40, following the regularly-scheduled Friday afternoon contest.

The state of Cubs pitching is bound to be a hot topic this weekend. Jameson Taillon was slated to make his season debut Thursday after missing time with a back injury.

Taillon is now Friday’s scheduled starter, while Shota Imanaga and Javier Assad are set for Saturday.

Kyle Hendricks is off to the worst start of his big-league career, with a 12.71 ERA through four starts. He's scheduled to pitch Sunday and it sounds like the Cubs will give him more time to work through the issues.

The bullpen, meanwhile, is a mixed bag. Mark Leiter Jr. has been fantastic, tossing 10 scoreless innings on just 3 hits. Hayden Wesneski and Keegan Thompson came back from Iowa to deliver heroic relief performances in the two wins at Arizona this week. Newcomers Hector Neris (4.50 ERA) and Yency Almonte (4.91) have been disappointing.

The Cubs did announce some roster moves Thursday, adding Taillon and Patrick Wisdom, while sending Wesneski and infielder Miles Mastrobuoni to Iowa. Wisdom, recovering from a sore back, had a strong rehab stint in Iowa, hitting .407 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI in nine games.

Wesneski would be unavailable anyway after tossing 4 impressive innings Wednesday against the Diamondbacks. It's possible Wesneski's next appearance will be for the Cubs in a few days, not Iowa, but that remains to be seen.

The Cubs probably should have carried Wesneski off the field on their shoulders after he shut down Arizona to preserve Wednesday's 5-3 victory, which gave the Cubs a 5-4 record on the road trip. The Cubs had used 13 pitchers the previous two days and to say the bullpen was spent would be putting it too mildly.

The Cubs do have a fresh arm on the roster in veteran right-hander Colten Brewer, 31, who has pitched for the Padres, Red Sox and Yankees over five seasons. He posted a 1.17 ERA through six appearances with the Iowa Cubs, using mostly a cutter and slider.

The Cubs sent relievers Luke Little and Daniel Palencia to Iowa before Wednesday's game in Arizona.

They also officially signed pitcher Julio Teheran to a minor-league deal Thursday. The 13-year MLB vet pitched for Counsell in Milwaukee last season and was released by the Mets recently after making one appearance.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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