The Cubs have recalled P Rafael Dolis from Iowa
Dolis has been pretty good since being optioned to AAA nearly a month ago:
11 G (all in relief), 12.1 IP, 2.92 ERA, 12 H (1 HR), 4 BB, 13 K
That said, I’m not sure I understand calling him back up right now. A month ago, he didn’t look like a major league caliber pitcher, and it seems unlikely that a month to clear his head will be a genuine long-term solution. I’d feel differently if Dolis had a more-established minor league track record, but he really doesn’t; this was his first stint in AAA, and his numbers in the lower minors weren’t terribly impressive, either. Put simply, I don’t think his poor performance in the majors this season was an aberration, and I expect him to pitch poorly now that he’s returned.
Now, I know that the Iowa roster isn’t teeming with better options. Jeff Beliveau is having a good season, but the front office probably doesn’t want three lefties in the bullpen. Alberto Cabrera is on the 40-man roster, and is having a very good year, but he’s in AA – I’m actually not sure why he hasn’t been promoted to AAA, but it’s understandable why the front office wouldn’t want to jump him directly to the majors.
In any organization, the front office needs to decide which of their prospects look like they have the talent to become above-average major leaguers, and which ones don’t. The former group will be nurtured, brought along at their own pace, and given every chance to succeed, because their high upsides are worth the investment in time and resources. The latter group, though, are more subject to the organization’s immediate needs, and less of a priority is given to their long-term development.
Contrast the way the organization has handled Welington Castillo and Adrian Cardenas, for example. Castillo was optioned to Iowa to start the season so that he could play everyday, was only brought up to the majors in an emergency situation, was given as much playing time as possible while he was with the big league club, and was sent back down afterwards to play everyday. The point was to avoid, as much as possible, sitting him on the bench without having an opportunity to play regularly, because his development is a priority for the organization. Cardenas, on the other hand, was called up and benched for most of a month and a half despite opportunities for him to play, and sent back down only when there was no room for him on the roster. Cardenas spent longer in the majors but was clearly less of an organizational priority.
And so I wonder if the decision to call up Dolis now isn’t a sign that he’s in the group of players whose development is not an organizational priority. They rushed him to the majors to start the season (unlike, say, Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson), and now that there’s a need, he’s being recalled seemingly without consideration for his long-term development. I’ll be surprised if he gets the same workload that he had in his first stint with the team, since Marmol’s been quasi-effective lately, and Shawn Camp and James Russell have solidified their late-inning roles, as well. It seems he’s back just because they needed someone, and not because he’s necessarily ready to come back.