The Cubs got their first look Saturday at the haul they got in Friday’s flurry of trade deadline moves, and it looked pretty good.
“It was perfect,” Cubs manager David Ross said of Codi Heuer’s performance against the Nationals.
Heuer entered in about as tough a spot as you can imagine in the eighth inning. Washington had already scored once off Rex Brothers and the lefty exited with the bases loaded and nobody out.
Heuer got three huge outs, retiring all three batters he faced on a pair of groundouts and a sac fly to escape the tough jam in the 6-3 Cubs win
“[When he] came in,” Ross said, “I told him, ‘Bases loaded, nobody out is how you’re starting your Cub career,’ and he handled it perfectly.
“Got the first out and then the sac fly, and then getting that last out for us to limit the damage for us was perfect.”
Heuer had a successful rookie season with the White Sox in 2020, finishing with a 1.52 ERA and 0.887 WHIP in 21 appearances, striking out 25 in 23 2/3 innings.
He struggled in 40 appearances this year with the White Sox (5.12 ERA, 1.422 WHIP) before coming over in the crosstown trade that sent former Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel to the South Side.
“I know he’s had some success, had some real success. Big arm,” said Ross pregame of Heuer, who features an upper-90s fastball.
“Struggled a little bit this year against lefties, and there’s some things we identified internally where we feel like we can impact him and continue to have his career grow.
“I think it’s a real arm that can get real outs for us. This is a big-time arm, somebody that has had some success in the big leagues that we feel can be sustainable.”
Whether that eventually leads to prominent late-inning relief role on next Cubs playoff team or even a closing role, Ross said pregame he’s not going to look for a closer this year.
But so far, so good for the 25-year-old in a Cubs uniform.
“Real nice job for him,” Ross added after Saturday’s win. “Usually, you want to give somebody a little softer landing when they get to a new team, and that was the plan, but it didn’t work out that way.
“He handled the moment really nice. That was a nice positive sign.”