rafael dolisFresh on the heels of Zach Putnam being called up and added to the 40-man roster for a look-see, another right-handed reliever is headed to Chicago. Today the Cubs called up Blake Parker, who saw a little time with the Cubs last year, and who has been dominating at AAA Iowa. To make room for Parker on the 25-man, Rafael Dolis was placed on the DL with a “mild forearm strain,” retroactive to May 27. To make room for Parker on the 40-man roster, newly-claimed reliever Alex Burnett – whom Putnam replaced on the 25-man roster – was designated for assignment.

To break down:

  • Burnett was clearly a roster grab and stash attempt. The Cubs held onto him for just a little while (five days), and are now hoping that the window for other teams to have space to grab him has closed (which is to say, I’m assuming the Cubs will put him on waivers shortly). If no other team wants to grab him, they can outright him to AAA Iowa, where he’ll remain a nice depth stash. Nicely played.
  • The dreaded forearm strain for Dolis. Sometimes it’s just a forearm strain, and no reason for further concern – I’m intrigued that the Cubs went to the lengths to say “mild” in the announcement – but if you’re a little nervous, I’d understand.
  • Parker, 27, has been closing for Iowa and has a 2.04 ERA over 17.2 innings, during which he’s struck out an amazing 26. Like Putnam before him, Parker is a legitimate future bullpen piece for the Cubs, and now is a good time to get him a second look. His first look was ended by the same kind of stress reaction that ended Matt Garza’s 2012 campaign. Parker is healthy now, and we’ll see how much action he sees. He’s been walking more than 5 per 9 this year, so control may be the thing to watch. He’s obviously got good stuff.
  • Eduardo Sanchez, who may have more upside than any of the relievers the Cubs have called up in recent days, remains at AAA Iowa, although he’s already on the 40-man roster. Clearly the Cubs wanted to get a closer look at Putnam and Parker, for whatever reason.
  • curt

    hopefully Brett with all yr writing that at some point you don’t get a forearm strain , hate to have to Dl ya lol.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. Thanks. I did get some wrist tendonitis last year …

      (Embarrassingly, that isn’t a joke.)

      • LouBrown

        And let me guess, that didn’t come from writing, did it?

      • mudge

        graston technique very effective if it recurs.

      • Abe Froman

        I had some of that going on too but got an ergonomic mouse with the large tracking ball. It was frustrating for the first week but then I got used to it and the pain went away.

  • Good Captain

    Is Blake an original Cub draftee? If so, in what round was he drafted, if you know?

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      Yes, he was drafted by the Cubs. Parker was a 16th round pick in the 2006 amateur draft.

      • Good Captain

        Thanks Someday! Nice pick.

  • LouBrown

    Timing on Dolis really sucks, he was really finding his groove (and the strikezone). I hope he doesn’t stay out of action too long.

  • @cubsfantroy

    Next up for Dolis, Tommy John surgery.

    • Rich H

      That would just be the thing that seems to happen this year.

  • Ron

    Ace, is this front office a lot more active suffling players or am I just paying more attention?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I wonder the same thing myself, but I was paying relatively close attention from 2008 through 2011 and I don’t remember it being anything close to this.

  • another JP

    Not only is the bullpen the weakest link of our pitching staff, I actually think some of our best relievers are all candidates for trade deals, thus the recent promotions for Dolis, Putnam, and Parker. All great moves, and are probably a precursor for upcoming promotions at AA– Rosscup, Batista, Schlitter, Hendricks, Beeler are all going to be due to move up soon.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    Any news on Juan Francisco?? Low upside.. Hope the Cubs take a gamble considering our 3rd base options

    • Kyle

      They have 10 days from his DFA date to do anything. It’ll be awhile, I imagine.

  • Oswego Chris

    I like the Parker call up…

    • Blublud

      Yeah. Putnam, Parker and Sanchez could change our Bullpen for the good over the next couple years. Zach Rosscup is probably not to far behind.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Cubs should draft maybe fifth or sixth round this year from VA. LHP Kyle Crockett relief pitcher in tough ACC. This guy in 49 innings has only 6 BB and 61 K’s. has only given up 1HR in over 140 innings pitched in three years.

    • Dynastyin2017

      What’s his out pitch? Is he a Junior or Senior?

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    He is a junior who has only pitched in relief. At 6’2″ and 175 he is sneaky fast and has a great breaking ball. Check his info at the UVA baseball web site.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    After Crockett last threw against Florida State thei long time head coach Martin said that Crockett kid won’t be in the minors for long. He has some kind of arm.

    • Dynastyin2017

      Sounds good. You can never have enough arms.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    Mlbtraderumors.com… Posted that the Brewers maybe open to trading Aramis Ramirez.. Should Theo and Jed jump on this??

    • Kyle

      I was just thinking yesterday how funny that would be. He’s still got one more backloaded year after this one, though, so could be pretty expensive.

    • another JP


  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Danny Valencia would be the guy to target by Theo and Jed. He is currently sitting on the O’s bench in Baltimore but put up some great numbers at their triple AAA affiliate this spring. Aramis has seen his best days long ago – nothing left in his tank.

    • hogie

      Ramirez is still more than effective offensively when healthy (50 doubles, 27 homeruns last year). Valencia has never been very good, even his minor numbers are uninspiring to me. Cubs don’t need to go after Ramirez, but Valencia is certainly not the answer.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Yeah Hogie that.939 OPS for his time at AAA really was ” uninspiring” for you this year. His last full year in the majors was 2011 and he was pretty decent on a bad Minnesota team. The guy is only 28 and is light year better than Aramis defensively.

    • hogie

      Let’s ignore the other 800 at bats in AAA in favor of the numbers he is putting up in 170 at bats during his 4th year at that level. His numbers have been all slugging in a hitters league. I live in northern WI, so I see a lot of twins games. After hs rookie year, he was part of the problem on that team, not the solution, just like he would be in Chicago.

  • Josh Ed.

    Hey Brett/Luke,

    Lots of bullpen shuffling and some (minor) depth in the minor leagues has me wondering: given the makeup of the Cubs farm system, which guys are long-term candidates, and which ones more likely to end up as part of a deal thiis year or next?

    Obviously, this is speculative in nature. But this is the place for it!

    I see a lot of postings that rattle off the depth chart of prospects like they will all make the big leagues with the Cubs. We all know it won’t happen. Who do you keep or trade with an eye to 2014/2015?

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