Today the Chicago Cubs called up reliever Blake Parker to theoretically bolster a beleaguered bullpen. I say “theoretically” because I think this is more about the Cubs simply seeing what they have down at AAA in the ‘pen.

Parker, 26, has had a few looks with the Cubs in Spring Training, including this year when he became something of a favorite of Dale Sveum’s. Parker faced a numbers crunch, and didn’t quite make the cut. Since then, he’s dominated at AAA, with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.077 WHIP in 13 innings. His peripherals aren’t great (6.2 K/9, 3.5 BB/9), but he’s been getting results in the high minors for years. It was about time to at least give him a look. The big righty will serve in middle relief for now.

Parker will be added to the 40-man roster, which now stands at 39. (That’s according to the Cubs.com roster, but I’ll confess: I thought it stood at 40 before Blake DeWitt was outrighted, which would have made it 39 before Parker was added. I’m not sure where I went wrong.)

In a corresponding move, Scott Maine heads back to Iowa. His second stint with the Cubs this year was a short one – one day, to be exact. On that day, he hit a guy, walked a guy, and gave up a hit.

Also, as expected, Blake DeWitt has swallowed his pride (seriously: good on him, though I know the money helps) and once again accepted an assignment to AAA Iowa.

  • RY34

    and the merr go round continues just hoping someone can stick! defcon 3 is alive and well!

  • Joker

    I’m done with guys named Blake. Can Parker change my line of thinking? (mumble….mumble…mumble…curse you, DeWitt!!!…mumble…mumble)

  • Johnny

    I hope Jeffrey Beliveau and Alberto Cabrera are not far behind Mr. Parker

  • Johnny

    And Kevin Rhoderick

  • gratefulled

    De La Cruz anyone?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Kind of figured he would get a look by now, but I guess he’s more of a known quantity.

  • Bric

    Yep, here we go again. The only positive I see is that at least Theo isn’t out there banging the drum with “Parker’s been in the minors for a long time and has been overlooked. I feel confident that he (or Mateo, or, Maine, Caridad, Coleman, Diamond, etc) is going to surprise a lot people”.

    At least Thedstein-Svuem sees what they’ve got in the upper minors in regard to realistic quality- none.

    The only problem is he hasn’t done much (other than Wood) to improve it. He’s traded the few good pitchers he could in the off season (Marshall and Cashner) so he’s going to have to decide before July whether to continue to sell or resign.

    • Johnny

      Wanna tell me what’s so wrong in seeing what we have? We are loaded with arms in AA-AAA for the bullpen, all of them cheap, so with the pen struggling why wouldn’t he see what he’s got in Parker, Rhoderick, Cabrera, Beliveau, De La Cruz, etc. Can’t hurt

      • Bric

        There’s nothing wrong with it. But years of the Hendry philosophy of quantity over quality and “We may not have anyone in the top 100 but we’re loaded in the second 100” hasn’t yielded much other than some competitive teams in Tenn. and Iowa.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      “he’s going to have to decide before July whether to continue to sell or resign.”

      So… Epstein isn’t allowed to try to improve the team at all?  His only options are to sell off players or hand in his resignation?

      That seems a little hasty to me.

      • Bric

        Sorry, I meant re-sign. What I meant was he will hopefully make the decision to resign or trade Garza (and maybe Soto, Demp, and a few others) if the ship continues to go down before the last week of July. Waiting and hoping for the Cubs to suddenly bust out an 8 game winning streak in July was what hog tied Hendry the last two years and left the upper levels of the minors basically empty.

  • Randy

    Does anyone know what is up with some of the Cubs top prospects? I noticed most of our draft from last year has not started playing yet and a few others are not getting very many at-bats innings (McNutt and Golden). Also Lake is killing it in Tennessee. Why are they not moving him to AAA or switch him to 3rd in AA. We have to find a way to get him to the big league Club. Same with Rizzo.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Most of the Cubs’ top prospects from the 2011 draft came out of high school.  It is pretty normal for high school draftees to start in extended spring training, and then move to short-season Boise or the Arizona Rookie League.  Both of those leagues start up in June; we can expect to see players like Baez and Vogelbach in action then.

      Lake literally just started playing.  He has played in a grand total of 9 games this season, and has just 76 games at Double A total. It is much to early to be talking about promoting him to Iowa.  Let’s let him get a few weeks worth of games behind him, at least.  He has played a few games at third base already, and first hand accounts say the Cubs have one of their top infield instructors in Tennessee working with Lake on that position.

      McNutt has been fighting blisters, and those are limiting his innings.  He is pitching regularly, and fairly well, but he is on a hard pitch count per outing while he builds up calluses on his fingers again.

      Golden injured his knee last month.  It was evaluated in Chicago, but that’s all we know about it.  Oliver Zapata made quite a splash when he was called up to Peoria to replace Golden.

      • Randy

        Awesome update Luke great job!

  • die hard

    shuffling deck chairs on Titanic….and whats it going to take to light a fire under Castro…he also plays like Ernie Banks on last legs

  • Steve

    Blake DeWitt makes me want to take a nap …

  • http://Cubbie4life.weebly.com Tonycampanathebasethief

    Amaya is headed back to extended spring training Nate Roberson to AAA

  • DCF

    I like the move. Throwing pitchers at the wall and see who sticks is pretty much the only real option they have right now, even if most of them seem to have little upside.

  • http://www.acubsblog.com WAIW

    “The only positive I see is that at least Theo isn’t out there banging the drum with “Parker’s been in the minors for a long time and has been overlooked. I feel confident that he (or Mateo, or, Maine, Caridad, Coleman, Diamond, etc) is going to surprise a lot people”.”

    This. This SO HARD.

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