As the calendar flips to September tomorrow, the Chicago Cubs’ roster will expand from 25 to 40, and the team can therefore call up a whole bunch of youngsters to join the big club. That, they will do, but the faces are expected to look familiar.
Eventually, manager Lou Piniella expects to bring up seven or eight players.
“I think you’ve seen them here before,” Piniella said Friday. “I don’t think there will be any surprises.”
There are several players on the Iowa roster who have spent time with Chicago this season, led by pitcher Jeff Samardzija and first baseman-outfielder Micah Hoffpauir.
Other pitchers who could be in line for a callup include Justin Berg, Esmailin Caridad and Jeff Stevens, who all have appeared in relief for Chicago this season.
Rule 5 pick David Patton, who pitched a scoreless inning for Iowa on Sunday, was with Chicago until the team placed him on the disabled list with a groin strain on July 5. He could return as well.
The Cubs also are expected to recall infielder Andres Blanco, a defensive specialist who hit .237 in 93 at-bats and has been rehabbing a calf injury in Iowa. Infielder Bobby Scales, who was first called up in May after 11 seasons in the Minors, also could be back. cubs.com.
The Cubs may not add anyone else who isn’t already on the official 40-man roster, no wanting to start the arbitration clock of such players.