shawn camp cubsUnder normal circumstances, word that an underperforming reliever was headed to the disabled list with a toe issue would be cause for an uncomfortable level of relief. You never want to see a guy hurt, but sometimes a player just needs a break. In Shawn Camp’s case, it’s been clear for some time that he needs a break.

And he’s getting one, in the form of a disabled list stint for an injured big toe. Maybe that has something to do with his recent woes.

But here’s where I get a bit miffed: the Cubs have known about the issue since this weekend. Camp reportedly got treatment for it on Sunday, and the treatment didn’t help.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Just yesterday, rather than do something with Shawn Camp (at the time, we were thinking release, but now we see that a DL stint was legitimately available), the Cubs DFA’d Michael Bowden to make room for Matt Garza. To be sure, Bowden has some issues, and the Cubs may have decided they didn’t want to keep him on the Major League roster anyway.

But … if there was even a tiny chance they wanted to keep him around, rather than trade or waive him, they had a golden opportunity here with Camp. They didn’t take it, and Camp gave up the decided grand slam last night. It’s frustrating, even if there’s a good explanation. I guess I’ll wait patiently for the announcement that Bowden has been traded for an interesting, upside prospect. If something like that happens during this DFA period (or if we learn that the Cubs were simply done with Bowden either way), I’ll assume that was always the plan, and we can resume thinking good things about the Cubs’ roster management at the margins.

In the interim, human shuttle Rafael Dolis has been called up to take Camp’s spot on the roster.

  • Mike

    Brett…please talk me off a ledge here about the seemingly boneheaded moves the front office has been making lately.

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    This makes my mustache hurt. So is there any way to undo the Bowden DFA, or is that a done deal?

  • fromthemitten

    Damn Dolis is gonna get himself a nice vacation with all these frequent flier miles he’s racking up

  • Crockett

    UUUGGGGHHHHH. I have to think they just weren’t pleased with Bowden either way.

    • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

      That’s my thought. They must have seen something in Bowden they thought was a massive red flag that the rest of us aren’t seeing. I hope they are right, otherwise I may have to pull out my mustache hair by hair to generate enough pain to obfuscate this decision.

  • JulioZuleta

    I think I’d be frustrated if Bowden was in any way a part of future plans. While it probably wasn’t the best move, no one is going to be losing any sleep over Bowden in the coming years.

  • Kyle

    The answer is that Michael Bowden is the most Replacement Level generic pitcher in history.

    He is not young enough to have any meaningful improvement left in his projection. He was averaging 89.8 MPH on his fastball, with little movement. None of his breaking pitches even grade out to 40 at the MLB level.

    You aren’t getting anything in a trade for him. He’s either going to be picked up on waivers by some other team that needs a replacement-level arm or you will stash him in the PCL, where every Iowa Cubs game will, when counting both the locker rooms, feature six guys just like him.

    • Jim

      I hope they assign Camp to a 90-day sting on the D.L. He and Bowden both should be trying to latch on somewhere as batting practice throwers.

    • jay

      No one’s picking up Bowden at his salary—which has got to be the only reason he got the hook instead of Camp–they figured they’d get him thru waivers and be able to stash him down on the farm. True, no one’s going to shed tears for either of these guys, but Bowden was at least major-league caliber. Camp could get lit up by a high school team.

  • Nick Pipitone

    The head scratching began when Rondon came into the game. I thought Villanueva would be a given there. And then, now that we know they put Camp in the game knowing he was hurt, I am not sure what the Cubs are doing. With the team playing well lately, this really makes zero sense.

  • Rich H

    Brett is there any truth to the rumor that Bowden is going to be traded for future considerations that include international spending money? I saw it mentioned elsewhere by a person seems to be in the know on these things. I know that there can not be any formal trades for that kind of stuff till July 2nd so if that is the case maybe come the day that the Cubs get that extra money to sign more than just the two top guys that they are said to be interested in, we will just say look at what we got out of him.

    • Crockett

      This is interesting. Even if it’s 100k.

    • Brett

      I’d be surprised if he could net that much.

      • Crockett

        Stop, Brett. I need a bright side.

      • Dynastyin2017

        Unless it’s from a team that’s looking for a way to not spend that much, without pissing off their fan base.

    • Kyle

      It looks a lot more like wishful thinking by Cubs fans than any actual rumor, imo. I just don’t see Bowden having any trade value, not even that.

      Incidentally, the pools must be traded in chunks of 1/4th of each team’s original allotment. That means that the smallest pool chunk that could be traded would be the Giants at a few hundred thousand.

      • Brett

        They aren’t split into four equal portions – it’s tiered.

      • cjdubbya

        Not exactly. It’s slotted in 120 incremental values, so the 120th slot is $135K. For the Cubs currently, their slots are No. 2 ($2,873,000), No. 32 ($462,300), No. 62 ($312,200) and No. 92 ($209,700). While that $135K slot value would be quite a bit for Bowden, it’s still interesting to consider.

        • Kyle

          Well hot dang, I learned something new and cool.

          • Rich H

            That is exactly what I was thinking. Thanks for the information guys.

  • GDB

    I’m not getting the frustration. Bowden sucks. Does anyone really think Bowden will end up on a winning team?
    I’d say the Sanchez guy picked off waivers the other day is a far better prospect for the pen but Dolis offers more upside already.

    • Brett

      If Bowden’s value is greater than absolute zero (or worse), then there seems to have been no reason to do things this way. That’s the issue.

      The big caveat, then, as I said is: if the Cubs believe Bowden is worthless, then there’s no issue here. I’m just not sure I see it that way, yet. His value is slight – extremely slight – but existent.

      • King Jeff

        If he clears waivers will that change your opinion? Doesn’t that essentially mean that no one else wants him for free?

      • GDB

        The roster spot he occupies has an element of value attached to it as well though. If Bowden isn’t the guy, there is more value in giving someone else the same opportunities.

      • jay

        More existent than Camp’s value, for sure.

  • Werner

    Really? Really?! Really?!!!!

  • Dustin S

    It’s only May, but if a person were going to be critical of the FO they could already start compiling a list of 2013 mistakes. The Ian Stewart debacle #1, this Camp/Bowden mess #2. Bowden wasn’t spectacular and maybe he would have blown it too, we’ll never know. But it makes yesterday’s loss a bit tougher to swallow. Maybe there is more to it though re: int’l money.

    Bowden aside, why put in a guy that has had major problems this season who you know for fact isn’t 100%? Even in amateur sports it’s kind of managing 101 to put players with day-to-day injuries at bottom of the list to use.

    • Crockett

      How is the Ian Stewart thing a debacle?

      I think that was a very prudent move on the FO’s part WHEN IT OCCURRED. They couldn’t know that Stewart would get hurt and that Valbuena would turn it on. A $2 million gamble in the MLB is nothing for a team with the financial status of the Cubs.

      • Kyle

        They should have known that Stewart might get hurt. Stewart getting hurt has been a great bet for the last decade or so.

      • hansman1982

        If we are talking about only the re-signing this offseason, I’d say it’s near the bottom of the list of debacles.

      • auggie1955

        I agree with you, Crockett, that $2 M is a bag of shells to a team like the Cubs. What pisses me off is Theo can’t admit he was wrong in re-signing Camp and is hoping for some miracle to occur between now and the trading deadline.

        • hansman1982

          So, whenever a player doesn’t perform well, Theo is supposed to come out and say:

          “Well shit, guys, I screwed the pooch and player X sucks monkey ballz?”


      • jay

        Completely agree. There was NOTHING out there in free agency for 3B and Luis is a lifetime .227 hitter for a reason. I had no problem with the signing at the time. What I had a problem with is that lazy fatass pulling a quad the first time he ran hard.

    • Noah

      If Theo’s worst “debacles “in any season combined cost the team less than $5 million and Michael Bowden, he’s doing better than the vast majority of GMs.

      • brickhouse

        Jackson not looking good at 52 million

  • @Rooting4Wrigley

    Appoligize to Ryno and get a head coach with some belly fire.

    • TWC

      Hahahaha. Haha. Ha. Heh.

      You mean the cocksure former player that no one else in the league wants as a head coach except for fanboys who are hung up on their delusion that the players they watched as a kid are obviously the greatest at everything for all times?

      Or the player that walked away from his team because he had no more — wait for it — belly fire left to give?

      One of those two, I’m sure.

    • DarthHater

      A. There is no such word as “appoligize.”

      B. A baseball team has a manager, not a head coach.

      • hansman1982

        Calling the manager “Head Coach” is the newest market inefficiency.

      • college_of_coaches

        If the Cubs select Mark Appel and he doesn’t pan out, then and only then will the organization have to appeligize to anyone.

  • DarthHater

    I’m not defending these moves, but putting camp on the 15-day DL would not have opened up a 40-man slot for Garza, so the DFA issue would still be there unless Camp’s toe is so badly injured as to require putting him on the 60-day DL.

    • Kyle

      The 40-man is still at 39. We didn’t need to open up a spot. Unless we took one for that Cardinals pitcher and TCR isn’t updated yet?

      • TWC

        The Cards pitcher did get a 40-man spot. We were at 39, and now remain there due the Bowden DFA.

        • Brett

          This is correct.

        • DarthHater

          If we are at 39 after adding Sanchez and DFAing Bowden, then it would appear to have been entirely unnecessary to DFA Bowden, without regard to anything related to Camp. My head is starting to hurt.

          • Kenster

            Bowden had no more options left therfore he had to be DFA’d. If he didn’t then I assume they would’ve just sent him back to Iowa

        • Kyle

          I want my money back from TCR.

      • DarthHater

        It was my understanding that Sanchez took up that spot.

  • mudge

    Mike Ditka’s available.

  • Kramden

    Camp on the DL?


  • forlines

    For me, It’s not so much the whole getting rid of Bowden and not Camp, cause Bowden is a sack of crap, but why in the hell would you play Camp last night if you knew he was injured?!?! I often wonder if our team as a whole these last 2 years is manic depressive.

  • RY

    Just one big Cluster F!

  • hansman1982

    I don’t think this is a boneheaded move. Considering the talent level in the front office I doubt it is a: “HOLY SHIT WHY DIDN’T WE THINK OF THIS WHEN EVERYONE ON BN THOUGHT OF IT IMMEDIATELY ONCE THE NEWS BROKE!!!!!”

    A decision to see what happened with his toe after the treatment that is probably, in no way connected to Bowden? Most likely.

    Also, what other boneheaded moves has the FO made lately and has anyone else seen an uptick in these “boneheaded moves” in the past 5 days?

  • aCubsFan

    Making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    A.) You don’t know which big toe is hurting. Is it the big toe on his push off foot? If yes, this could be a big reason why he hasn’t pitched so well this year.

    B.) Camp may have been down playing the severity of his injury to the Cubs’ trainers or not even have told the Cubs’ trainers about the injury until this weekend. (Sounds like Garza and a ton of other players around the league.)

    C.) As others have stated the Cubs DFA’d Bowden because he was of no value to them any more. It’s interesting timing that they claimed the St. Louis pitcher at the same time they DFA’d Bowden. Sounds like Bowden’s going to be in the same position as Stewart, getting a pay check and rarely pitching if he isn’t claimed off waivers.

    Quite frankly, the Cubs’ management didn’t need to respond to Stewart’s yammerings nor do they owe the fans any explanation for why they DFA’d Bowden. Their moves and motives are simple. Get, trade and keep the best possible talent to win.

    • cubzfan

      I’d bet a bundle it’s his right toe, because that’s the one he stubbed on those two balks earlier in the year. He also looked down at it after he threw to first last night, as though he almost tripped again. That was before the grand slam, because I thought “Great, he just about balked in another run.”

  • Frank

    I’ve been saying Stewart was a bum since I heard they were going to trade for him last year. I know the front office didn’t have many choices. I think they made a wise decision by dropping him from the 40 man roster. I’m with you Brett. Bowden doesn’t have a lot of value but he has some compared to the rest of the pen.

  • DarthHater

    I look at it this way: The Cubs have gotten both Bowden and Camp off the active roster, which can only be a good thing. On top of that, they have added a decent bullpen prospect in Eduardo Sanchez. Life is beautiful, tra-la-la . . .

    • B_Scwared

      +1 barfing my little pony

  • Idaho Razorback

    That poor young lady, Shawn Camp. She hurt her camel toe.

  • auggie1955

    I’m getting a little sick and tired of seeing the Dolis merry-go-round between Iowa and Chicago. Isn’t there someone else we could take a look at? Rusin? Raley?

    • cjdubbya

      Raley may have been an option, but he left a game a day or two ago early. Rusin, who knows. A couple other names I’ve heard bandied about are Negrin and Rosscup, though both of these guys would have needed moved to the 40, I think.

      • jay

        We saw all we need to of those guys last year–Raley in particular.

  • willis

    I can’t believe most of the bitch here is about the Bowden impact, who cares? It’s the fact that the manager of a major league team has such a man crush sick whatever for an injured, ineffective pitcher, that the manager decided to put this injured pitcher, who has been sucking all year, into a game at the most important moment of the game. That decision cost this team the game last night. And now that we know that he was hurt, it makes the decision even dumber. God I hate Sveum.

    • jay

      Completely agree with this. No one here is waiving the flag for Bowden, except that if death was not an option you’d take him over Camp in a nanosecond.

  • JBarnes

    Lowe cleared waivers for the Rangers…could see him as a guy that doesn’t accept a minor league demotion. Wouldn’t be upset to see the Cubs take a chance on him if that becomes an option. Really no risk involved IMO considering the bullpen outside of Russell is a joke at this point.

    • cjdubbya

      Gregg’s done really poorly this year, you’re right.

      • JBarnes

        My apologies, Kevin Gregg has been a surprise. Relax dude.

  • Die hard

    LOL OMG but rearrange to get GLOOM with a what the L!! dangling–about sums up ineptitude

  • Bill

    Disagree with the $2M for Stewart being nothing. The guy is a bad baseball player, and he’s a china doll. If the talk about payroll getting squeezed by Ricketts is true, wouldn’t that $2M have been much more wisely spent on a bullpen arm who can pitch above wash up level (ie Camp, Loe)?

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Aren’t any of the Cubs AAA starters worth converting into relievers? All relievers are failed starters, and it’s not like any of these guys (none of whom I can even remember) are going to be MLB starters.

    • ProfessorCub

      Yeah, the Chris Rusins, Nick Strucks, Brooks Raleys, Barret Louxs of the world (I had to look it up).

    • Kyle

      Not really. You’ll just end up with more Michael Bowdens.

      If you squint really hard, I guess I could sort of imagine Raley being vaguely useful.

  • Die hard

    Dolis will be Solid rest of way

    • TWC

      Oh, I see what you did there. *wink*

      Struck will stick!

  • Die hard

    Shawn Camp may be just a Cash Pawn + m