The Cubs have activated P Matt Garza, INF Ian Stewart and P Arodys Vizcaino from the 60-day disabled list
Nothing to see here – this is just a pro forma move to add these players back to the official 40-man roster (which now has 36 players on it). As far as I know, none of these players’ statuses have changed. Garza and Vizcaino are still looking to be ready to go by spring training, while Stewart’s outlook is hazier and yet to be determined.
Tough luck for Parker, who retured from an earlier stint on the 60-day DL to pitch in three games, albeit ineffectively. Apparently, he’s experiencing the same problem in his right elbow, listed officially as a bone contusion, so hopefully he has time to recover before spring training next season. If he does, I have to believe he’ll have a strong chance to compete for a bullpen spot heading into 2013.
I’m glad to see Parker return, because I wanted to see more of him when he got hurt. The Cubs have churned though a lot of minor league relievers this year, and Parker seems as promising as any of them, at least in the sense that he might plausibly still be on a major league staff three years from now.
What I hope now, though, is that Dale Sveum actually puts him into games. Too often this season we’ve seen guys in the pen who deserve longer looks that stay sitting on the bench for long stretches at a time, and that doesn’t do anyone any good (it certainly hasn’t made the pen more reliable). Parker’s paid his dues in the minor leagues, he deserves to be on the major league team as much as anyone else in that bullpen aside from Carlos Marmol, and he deserves to pitch until he proves he’s not cut out for a major league job.
We already expected that Garza was finished for the year, but now that is more or less made official. He’ll technically be eligible to return over the last week of the season, but the Cubs have said that he won’t be back, and it’s hard to see why they would activate him for the last few games at any rate.
The Cubs have transferred P Arodys Vizcaino from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list
Vizcaino is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is hoping to be available for spring training next year. He’s being moved to the 60-day disabled list in order to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
Stewart was not expected back this season after having wrist surgery last month, so this is just a roster formality. For those unfamiliar with baseball rules, putting a player on the 60-day disabled list allows the team to remove him from the 40-man roster.
Predictably enough, Castillo was given a nice long time to heal, after straining his groin back in mid-May. Since he was a Rule 5 pick, the Cubs are obligated to keep him on the active roster; otherwise, they would either have to send him back to Philadelphia or work out a trade for him. He looked overwhelmed early in the season before he was hurt, but no matter, because all year the Cubs have had at least one bullpen spot occupied by a pitcher who never actually gets in games. At least with Castillo there’s a good reason for it.
Garza has been put on the DL retroactive to July 28, so tonight’s start will be the only one he’ll have to miss before he’s eligible to be activated. That said, no one in the organization seems to be very optimistic about his return, and in fact word came today that he may not even return this season, for what’s being called a “stress reaction” in his elbow. And this because of what was originally described as “cramping” when he was removed from a game back on July 21.
If this is the end of his season, it’ll be something of a lost year for him, at least as far as the Cubs are concerned. He’s had some good underlying stats, especially his 3.00 K/BB ratio, but he’s not gotten the results that he did last year, and he’s given up way too many homers – 15 in 103.2 IP, compared to only 14 in 198.0 IP last season.
Obviously his injury made him impossible to move at the trade deadline, but now if he can’t pitch again this season, he’ll be difficult to trade in the offseason as well. On the other hand, he’ll probably not be in a hurry to sign an extension with the Cubs either, while his value is low and while he still has another season before free agency. Garza’s one of the Cubs’ most important players right now, either in trade or as a potential piece of the long-term rotation, but right now his status is in limbo.
Not much to say here. Dempster returned from the disabled list a little earlier than it looked like he would, and pitched well over 5 innings this afternoon. At this point, he’s pitching to increase his own trade value, which must be an odd feeling for him personally but which probably serves as a kind of weird incentive in its own way.
Anyway, I’m glad he’s back. He’ll probably be gone in a few weeks, if not sooner, but until then he gives the Cubs a better chance to win games.
The Cubs have placed P Ryan Dempster on the 15-day disabled list, and activated C Geovany Soto from the 15-day disabled list
I suppose Cubs fans can take a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full approach to Dempster’s injury. It’s officially being described as “right lat tightness”, and doesn’t at this time appear to be serious, but Dempster obviously is the source of trade rumors. How this affects his trade value is anyone’s guess (provided it is indeed not serious), but it’s hard to believe it’s for the better, as far as the Cubs are concerned. This is his second DL stint this season, and common sense says that teams will not want to pay a steep price for an unreliable pitcher. On the other hand – once again assuming that the injury is not serious – the timing at least gives Demspter plenty of time to return and demonstrate effectiveness before the July 31 trade deadline.
Putting the upcoming trade deadline aside, Dempster has easily been the Cubs’ best starting pitcher this year, not that it’s done them much good. He’s been fairly fortunate in terms of balls in play, but he’s also cut his walk rate, and despite a drop in his strikeout rate, he’s currently posting a career-best 3.00 K/BB ratio. He’s second in the NL in ERA+ and 4th in pitcher WAR. Still, the Cubs are only 5-7 in games he’s started, and that’s after a 3-game winning streak on his part. Randy Wells is expected to take his spot in the rotation, which is a gruesome downgrade.
As for Soto, it would really be nice if he started to hit, because the Cubs’ offensive production from the catcher position continues to be dismal. He had 3 hits in 17 PA for Iowa during his 5-game rehab stint, and himself figures to be the object of trade discussions over the next month and a half. Regardless, though, I just want to see him play well. Before the season started, catcher was supposed to be a position of strength for the team, and it’s turned out to be anything but. A big part of that can be attributed to injuries, but even still the guys who were supposed to be good have not been good. Whether Soto is on the trading block or not, it’s time for that to change, now that everyone’s healthy again.