Major League Baseball teams are permitted to bring up a 26th player for the second leg of a doubleheader, and the Chicago Cubs today have done so with lefty reliever Zac Rosscup.
The rule is designed to protect overtaxed bullpens/rosters, but, with two off-days this week before the doubleheader, and another off-day tomorrow, the Cubs probably weren’t at a serious risk of overuse. But, hey, the rules allow it, so the Cubs might as well bring up Rosscup, since he’s already on the 40-man roster, and there’s nothing to lose.
Rosscup, 25, saw a little bit of time late in the year with the Cubs in 2013, but he’s mostly still in the process of working his way up to the big league roster. So far this year, he’s thrown 5.2 AAA innings, striking out 8 and walking 1. He’s allowed just 2 hits, and has been about as dominant as a guy can be in such a small sample. It’s fair to guess that Rosscup has a future in the Cubs’ pen (his strikeout rate the last couple years is downright silly), but with James Russell and Wesley Wright already around, it’s probably going to take a trade, an injury, or the 2015 season for Rosscup to get a serious look at the big league level.
After the game, Rosscup will head back to Iowa. So, for his sake, here’s hoping he gets to face a lefty bat or two, and strikes ‘em out.