The Chicago Cubs made a few procedural roster moves today, returning formerly-disqualified pitcher Carlos Zambrano to, um, “qualified” status on the 40-man roster, and designating for assignment pitchers Justin Berg and Brian Schlitter.
Zambrano, who hasn’t been with the team since he “quit” in mid-August, is not expected to be a member of the 2012 Cubs. But, to preserve the ability to trade Zambrano (lest he be claimed for the league minimum), the Cubs weren’t going to waive him this Winter. Thus, is one again a full member of the 40-man roster. Don’t read into the move.
As for Berg, he may have had his last chance with the Cubs. The team needed to start the process of opening up roster spots for the Winter, and when your name pops up first, it’s rarely a good sign. Berg, 27, pitched in parts of three seasons with the Cubs, never quite hanging on in the bullpen. He logged a total of 64 innings, with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.453 WHIP. If nobody else wants him, the Cubs could re-sign him to a minor league deal, where he would pitch out of the Iowa bullpen next year.
Schlitter, 25, was never quite healthy enough to crack the bigs with the Cubs. He saw action in seven games last year (to the tune of a healthy 12.38 ERA), and didn’t pitch at all in the minors this year.