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Photo by Tim Sheridan, Boys of Spring

Photo by Tim Sheridan, Boys of Spring

As expected, and per multiple reports, the Cubs made a series of roster moves today, now that the AAA season is over. Pitchers Justin Grimm and Brooks Raley were called up, as was catcher JC Boscan. The Cubs also added pitcher Zac Rosscup to the 40-man roster, calling him up as well. To make room for Rosscup, outfielder Dave Sappelt was designated for assignment.

Rosscup, 25, is a lefty reliever who came to the Cubs in the original Matt Garza deal – as in, the one with Tampa Bay. Since coming to the Cubs and moving into the bullpen full-time, Rosscup’s strikeout rate has exploded, reaching 14.6 per 9 this year at AA and AAA. His walk rate was a passable 4.4 per 9 (with that K rate, I mean), and he’s very much an option for the bullpen in 2014. Rosscup was a lock to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft if he wasn’t added to the 40-man roster before December, so there was little to lose by making the move now. Indeed, now the big league staff will get an early look at him.

Sappelt had a couple shots to break through with the big team in a reserve role since coming to the Cubs in the Sean Marshall trade. He couldn’t quite make it happen, and derostering him has been expected for some time now. The Cubs may look to waive Sappelt and outright him to Iowa if he clears. From there, he could stick around as depth next year. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is all she wrote for Sappelt in the Cubs’ organization.

Grimm was one of the pieces of this year’s Garza trade – and an underrated one at that – and will be competing for a rotation spot next year. Raley is similarly a back-end rotation candidate, but I can’t help but wonder if his future lies in the bullpen.

JC Boscan is a journeyman third catcher who is spending his final month on the Cubs’ 40-man roster. Whether he sticks in the organization thereafter depends on each sides’ desire for him to return on a minor league deal in 2014.

  • terencemann

    I really wanted Sappelt to succeed right up until the point he started crying about not being called up last summer on Twitter while he was having a less than stellar year in AAA.

    • willis

      His twitter mouth was annoying and was backed up by completely shitty play on the field both at AAA and in the majors. Glad to see him gone.

      • Koyie Hill Sucks

        I thought he would be better than he was but he’s not even good enough to keep around as depth.
        I don’t see the point in keeping him at Iowa either.

        • willis

          Yeah no point to keep him in Iowa. There will be bodies ready (namely Szczur) to begin there next season, and others that will be moving up soon enough to play/learn the outfield there as well. I never liked him as a player and it’s be better just to say goodbye.

          • terencemann

            I think the Cubs showed this season that it’s not hard to acquire depth better than Sappelt, too. The 40 man roster spots will be pretty valuable for them as they make claims and hopefully swing some trades this off-season.

    • Jason

      If our players would only wise up and listen to what their coaches, co-ordinators, and org. shirts say about tweeting, they would give up that dangerous habit. What they say around Fitch always has several F bombs and yet Ian Stewart and David and Brett Jackson persisted.

  • #23

    I would like to see what Lim can do before the season ends.

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    I’m sad that Sappelt never got it together, but I support the decision.

    Brett, I’m thinking that time is short on the 40 man for McDonald, Ransom and Gillespe. Your thoughts?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Among others, absolutely. I’ll probably write up the expected departures a little later this month, and then the expected additions a little after that.

      • http://bleachenation Sacko

        Finally! thank you for that comment. Do you mean those 3 gone soon to make room this season?

  • Oswego Chris

    Could Sappelt net Bard?…could each team even make that trade? Would it really kill the Cubs to give Bard a look in September if they acquired him? Am I asking too many pointless questions?

    • #23

      I would definitely take a chance on an arm like Bard’s. There is huge upside there if he can put things back together again.

    • #23

      Ofcourse, I thought they should have taken a chance on Liriano for the same reason and they passed.

    • MoneyBoy

      Chris… That’s an interesting thought. Boston obviously has thrown in the towel on Bard.

      I saw Sappelt play with Cincy in 2011 and thought he had some promise. Was modestly excited he was part of the trade. Shame he didn’t work out.

      Other than perhaps having to stash Bard on the 40-man – which may be the main reason this doesn’t happen – it’s pretty much a no brainer.

  • cub2014

    I am glad to see Rosscup is up I think he
    is legit. Now Russell can get some rest.

    Marshall for Wood, 2 prospects didnt work
    out that pretty normal for all prospects, to
    get 1 of 3 successful at bigs that pretty good.

    With top prospects maybe 2 out of 3?

    • Featherstone

      Don’t forget it was 1 year of Marshall for all of that including 5 years of Wood? Yeah the prospects didn’t pan out, but the Marshall for Wood deal looks plenty fine to me.

      • cub2014

        I like the deal (marshall for wood). it has worked out well
        for the cubs. my point was more that not all of our top
        prospects are going to be stars, if we are lucky 1/2
        will be very good pros.

        • BWA

          True, but our top prospects are way better than torreyes and sappelt.

        • jayrig5

          In a vacuum, that’s true. That is, out of all prospects in baseball, a very small percentage will be very good Major League players. But when talking about the specific prospects, it’s a different equation. Almora, Baez, and Bryant were all top-7 draft picks. The failure rate for that level of prospect is much lower than the at-large failure rate. Those 3 plus Soler are positional players, another group with a lower rate. So while I also caution that not every prospect will reach his ceiling, with these 4 prospects the floor is still that of a useful MLB player.

  • Chad

    I think Raley could be a Russel type of reliever, and I think that is important. And yes, I think the cubs should take a chance on Bard in the bullpen.

  • Koyie Hill Sucks

    With the addition of lefty pitchers I hope we barely see Russel out there in September he has been used enough this year.

    • MikeW

      Jimbo has thrown 50 innings this year. Less than Kevin Gregg and only a few more than Hector Rondon. Lets cool the overworked routine.

      • Melrosepad

        But that 50 IP is over 70 appearances. That doesn’t even count the times he has been up and throwing in the pen but never came in. Our next highest person in appearances is Gregg at 54.

  • Nate

    Are Raley and Rosscup both Lefty option for the pen next year? If so with Strop, Villanueva and Parker (Man he’s been good) the pen could be really good and really balanced.

    With Wood, Shark and Jackson in the rotation it seems difficult for Cabrera to slide into the back end. Obviously a lot could change but Arrieta and Rusin are already there and Grimm will be competing as well. That’s seven young guys for five spots (or 4 for 2 depending on how you look at it) plus any new signings that could come in and possibly Raley competing as well.

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