Wieck IL move another indication of major pitching need

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Reliever Brad Wieck is the latest Cub to go down with a significant injury this spring heading into a season where concern around pitchers in high.

The Cubs placed Wieck on the 60-day injured list Thursday with a left elbow strain — likely sidelining him for a chunk of the 2022 season.

Wieck felt something in his elbow during a bullpen session this week.

The big left-hander is the third Cub who was expected to be a key contributor on the 2022 pitching staff to sustain a serious injury in recent weeks.

Codi Heuer (Tommy John surgery) is expected to miss the entire season, and Adbert Alzolay (lat) is expected to miss half the season or more.

Teams are on high alert for injuries to pitchers with the quick turnaround to Opening Day following MLB's lockout.

That doesn't even count issues related to players' independent programs during the work stoppage — they were barred from communicating with teams — which is when Heuer and Alzolay sustained their injuries.

Cubs president Jed Hoyer said this week adding pitching depth is his biggest focus leading up to the regular season. The club has signed five pitchers to big-league deals in recent days, including lefties Steven Brault and Daniel Norris, and added two more as non-roster invitees (Jesse Chavez, Adrian Sampson).

The Cubs only have three lefties on their 40-man roster following the Wieck news: Wade Miley, Justin Steele and Brailyn Márquez. Steele is a candidate to join Miley in the rotation, and Márquez missed all of last season due to injury.

The Cubs officially announced their one-year deal with reliever Chris Martin Thursday. Martin fills the 40-man roster spot vacated by Wieck.

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