Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

michael bowden cubsWhen Matt Garza returns from the DL on Tuesday to start in Pittsburgh, he’ll bump Carlos Villanueva to the bullpen. The question then is who gets bumped from the bullpen.

Shawn Camp? He certainly hasn’t pitched well this year, and isn’t going to accumulate any meaningful trade value between now and the Trade Deadline.

Hector Rondon? He’s a Rule 5 guy whom the Cubs like, and they aren’t going to dump him now for nothing. Of course, they could just put him on the disabled list for a few weeks with a “bad back.”

Carlos Marmol? The Cubs don’t seem inclined to release him right now (he did look pretty sharp today), and there probably isn’t much of a trade market. So it won’t be him.

No, according to Bruce Miles it’s going to be Michael Bowden, who is out of options, getting designated for assignment. The 26-year-old righty was great down the stretch last year (after previously being DFA’d and clearing waivers, incidentally), and has a 3.78 ERA and 1.140 WHIP. Then again, he’s striking out just 3.8 batters per 9, and walking 2.7. Small sample size, but he hasn’t been dominating.

Still, is risking losing Bowden for nothing really the right move? I know you can only kinda-sorta play disabled list games with a guy like Rondon, but I’m a little surprised that the Cubs aren’t going to try.

We’ll see if something changes tomorrow, but, as of right now, it looks like the Cubs will DFA Bowden, and try to figure out whether to trade, release, or waive him. Presumably, the Cubs would love to find a trade partner (unlikely) or see him clear waivers so they can outright him to AAA Iowa.

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