Justin Dukes covers the Chicago Cubs and their developments for WARR.com
Just weeks away from the conclusion of the season and pitchers Hector Rondon, Koji Uehara, and Jake Arrieta all currently find their playing status residing on the disabled list.
While the call up of rookie pitcher Jen-Ho Tseng from the minors a few days ago raised a few eye brows, the young prospect for the Cubs potentially could make a large impact on the team’s immediate and long term future.
No, Tseng did not have an impressive outing in his first game with the team against the New York Mets on Thursday. However, with the team still pulling out the win, the on the job training session for Tseng hopefully was worth it.
While it is always an exciting proposition for young players to be thrust into the spotlight to perform, the odds are that Tseng ends up in the minors by this time next season. Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s recent comments show that he is aware of the room for error for the young pitcher, but he also acknowledged the possibility of Tseng having his coming out party leading to the close of this season.
Arrieta’s bullpen session this weekend will be a determining factor in the length of Tseng’s tenure with the team. With such a small sample size, it is difficult to critique exactly where Tseng can make large improvements to extend his stay with the team past this season. Other than telling him to maintain his composure, Tseng should play his game and avoid any hero attempts over being punctual.
Absent from the lineup to begin the series against the rival St. Louis Cardinals, the team pulled out a much needed win again. Unfortunately, as this game would’ve been great for Tseng to observe steady starting pitching, John Lackey became unglued and was eventually tossed from the game with a not too impressive earned ERA.
Earning the distinction of the minor league pitcher of the year with an average ERA of 2.54, the Cubs will need more of the same from Tseng to sustain the desired depth in the bullpen.
With Maddon saying he’s keeping an open mind to the situation, Tseng appears to be in a stable position at the moment, but potential definitely has a shelf life.
Justin Dukes is a Chicago-based sports writer, follow him on Twitter @1kingzdream; Follow We Are Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under We Are Regal Radio