Joe Maddon hasn’t delivered his message to Tsuyoshi Wada yet, but regardless of when the left-hander hears it he’ll keep his spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation for now.
Maddon said Saturday Wada indeed will make his next scheduled start Tuesday night against Cleveland at Wrigley Field. The 34-year-old Wada has failed to make it out of the fourth inning in his last two starts, allowing a combined eight runs on 13 hits with four walks, five strikeouts and two home runs allowed in 6 2/3 innings.
After Wada’s start Thursday night against Cincinnati — in which he was pulled after allowing a leadoff home run in the fourth — Maddon said he wanted to see him regain trust in his stuff and pitch with more aggression.
“He has to go back to being a little more primal,” Maddon said. “… It’s not a whole lot different than when he was going really good except I don’t see that real aggressive, confident nature.”
Maddon said he’d deliver that message to Wada on Saturday after getting caught up in having a number of guests at Wrigley Field this weekend.
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The Cubs have a pair of former starters in Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood, who began the 2015 season in the rotation, pitching out of the bullpen. Wood exited the Cubs rotation in mid-May with a 5.59 ERA, but over 9 2/3 innings in relief has allowed two runs on seven hits with 11 strikeouts. Jackson, over 19 1/3 innings, has a 2.79 ERA and hasn’t given up a home run.
Wada posted a 3.25 ERA over 13 starts last year as a rookie with the Cubs and had a 2.30 ERA over his first three starts of 2015.