Former Express Pitcher Erich Uelmen Debuts with the Cubs

Uelmen is the 299th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB

Rochester, Minn. – Former Eau Claire Express pitcher Erich Uelmen made his Major League debut for the Chicago Cubs on Friday, July 22, 2022. Uelmen is the 299th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.

Uelmen, who played collegiately at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, played for the Express in 2015. He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Cubs.

In 2015 with the Express, Uelmen appeared in eight games and was 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA. He struck out 34 batters in 34.2 innings pitched while walking 13.

Uelmen began his professional career in 2017 with the Eugene Emeralds of the Short-Season A Northwest League. In seven games he was 0-2 with a 2.04 ERA. He pitched 17.2 innings and struck out 23.

In 2018, Uelmen started the season with the South Bend Cubs of the Lo-A Midwest League. After 11 games he was promoted to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Hi-A Carolina League. Between the two clubs he was a combined 8-8 with a 3.83 ERA in 21 games. He struck out 82 batters in 89.1 innings while walking 30.

Uelmen started the 2019 season in Myrtle Beach. After 11 games he moved up to the Tennessee Smokies of the AA Southern League. For the season, he pitched in 17 games and was 5-6 with a 4.55 ERA. He struck out 76 batters in 91.0 innings.

In 2021, Uelmen began the year with Tennessee and then was promoted, after 19 games, to the Iowa Cubs of the AAA East League. He appeared in a combined 31 games between the two clubs and was 2-9 with a 5.78 ERA. He struck out 88 batters in 90.1 innings and had two saves.

Prior to his call-up to the Cubs, Uelmen had pitched in 28 games with Iowa. He was 3-3 with a 2.79 ERA and had 52 strikeouts in 42.0 innings. In his Major League debut against the Phillies, Uelmen entered the game in relief of former La Crosse Logger Rowan Wick. He pitched one inning, allowing one run on one hit while striking out one.


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its’ 29th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 290 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website at and on ESPN+. For more information, visit or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.