Cubs reliever Rowan Wick is in “a really good place,” according to manager David Ross, after a nagging intercostal injury kept the right-hander sidelined for longer than expected.
Wick has started a throwing program and continues to stretch out his throwing distances. On Monday, he’s scheduled to throw at 105 feet.
“He's letting it rip pretty good,” Ross said.
There is still no timetable for his return, according to Ross.
“He still hasn’t gotten off a mound yet,” said Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy when asked if there was any chance that Wick would be ready for opening day. “It being the 14th of March, it’d be pretty tough for that to happen.”
One of the biggest hurtles in Wick’s recovery has been pinpointing the issue itself. The Cubs were still searching for clarity in late February, when Wick was scheduled for further diagnostic tests. Wick sustained a season-ending oblique strain in September, but he still wasn’t fully healthy come spring training.
“He turned a corner a couple weeks ago,” Ross said.
While working on the area, head athletic trainer PJ Mainville hit the spot that was bothering Wick, allowing them to treat it directly.
“It’s been a good, I’d say, last 10 days for Rowan,” Hottovy said. “Really getting more comfortable with what he’s feeling. And Rowan’s such a strong dude, so when he feels good, it looks really good too because it comes out so easy.”
Tepera to make 2021 spring debut
Right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera is scheduled for a relief appearance against the White Sox on Monday, Ross announced.
The Cubs re-signed Tepera about two weeks ago, and he’s thrown live batting practice twice since arriving in camp, according to Ross.
“The second live, I thought the readings were (good),” Ross said. “The slider was good. It was like, ‘OK, there's the guy we saw last year.’”
Gordon Wittenmyer contributed to the reporting of this story from Mesa, Arizona.