Cubs will take look at Wada and could see Straily in rotation

Cubs will take look at Wada and could see Straily in rotation
July 20, 2014, 5:45 pm
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PHOENIX — The Cubs will give Tsuyoshi Wada another audition.

Wada will get a look as the fifth starter and face the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field. The 33-year-old lefty has gone 10-6 with a 2.77 ERA at Triple-A Iowa after missing most of the last two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

“We’ll just see where it goes from there,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Sunday at Chase Field.

Wada didn’t impress in spring training, and he never made it to the big leagues with the Baltimore Orioles after signing a two-year, $8.15 million deal. But he was a decorated pitcher in Japan, helping his country win the 2006 World Baseball Classic and becoming Nippon Professional Baseball’s MVP in 2010.

Wada debuted during the July 8 doubleheader at Great American Ball Park, giving up one unearned run in five innings in a game the Cincinnati Reds would win, 6-5.

The Cubs also want to see what they have in Dan Straily, the 25-year-old right-hander they got from the Oakland A’s in the Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel deal.

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President of baseball operations Theo Epstein saw Jake Arrieta as a blueprint. Arrieta got a chance to regroup, making seven starts for Iowa after last summer’s Scott Feldman trade with the Orioles, and now looks like a rotation fixture for years to come.

Straily has only made two starts for Iowa after the Fourth of July trade. He had fallen out of favor with Oakland’s front office and couldn’t stick in the big-league rotation.

But Straily also got American League Rookie of the Year consideration in 2013, going 10-8 with a 3.96 ERA and throwing 150-plus innings for a 96-win team.

A 24th-round pick out of Marshall University in 2009, Straily led professional baseball in strikeouts when he got promoted to the A’s in August 2012.

“We’ll see where he’s at down the road,” Renteria said. “I can’t tell you how soon or how far down the road. But right now, we’re just trying to get him back on track.”