Today the Cubs claimed 28-year-old reliever Jairo Asencio off of waivers from the Cleveland Indians. The Indians had acquired Asencio earlier in the year from the Braves for cash.
Asencio, a righty, pitched deceptively well for the Indians in 25.2 innings of work. He had an ugly 5.96 ERA, but a decent 1.364 WHIP and a nice 2.63 K/BB rate. He has very good numbers in the high minors in recent years, but you might expect that given his advanced age. He’ll settle into the bullpen and be used, for now, in a middle relief role.
To make room for Asencio, the Cubs had to remove someone from the roster, and that someone is Michael Bowden.
Bowden, 25, has been a disappointment since coming to the Cubs in the Marlon Byrd trade back in April (7.84 ERA and 1.97 WHIP in 9.2 innings). As a player without options left, the Cubs had no choice but to designate Bowden for assignment if they wanted to try and shuffle him down to AAA. The team will have 10 days to trade, release, or waive Bowden, and I’d expect they’ll be trying for the latter. If he goes unclaimed, the Cubs can send him to Iowa.
There isn’t much to be excited about – or bummed about – in this decision. It would stink to lose Bowden for nothing, but he hadn’t shown much worth fretting about. As for Asencio, shrug. There are some nice peripherals, I suppose.
If Bowden doesn’t clear waivers, the Cubs will have only borderline non-prospect Hunter Cervenka to show for the Byrd deal. Then again, Byrd wasn’t worth a whole lot.