In the last day, the Chicago Cubs have made a couple swaps in the bullpen, which you could notice tonight in Milwaukee.
First, lefty Wesley Wright is back from the paternity list, which means Blake Parker heads back to Iowa. There wasn’t any cause for anyone else to get bumped from the pen for Parker, so this was the understandable move. Parker will likely keep dominating at AAA, as he has so far this year, and will get another shot to come back up and stick when there’s a more long-term opening. (Of course, with Zac Rosscup and Kyuji Fujikawa potentially coming back soon, and an already overcrowded bullpen, it could be tough.)
Heading to the paternity list is Cubs closer Hector Rondon (congrats!), who could miss a few games while he attends to being a daddy. Taking Rondon’s spot on the roster is none other than Pedro Strop, who will surprisingly not need a rehab stint as he comes back from his mild groin strain. Strop had been throwing in extended Spring Training games, and the Cubs must have felt like he was ready to come back.
Should a save opportunity arise in the next couple games, the choice of closer will be very interesting. Before he was injured, it looked like the job – previously lost by Jose Veras – was going to go to Strop. In the meantime, Rondon pretty much cemented himself as the guy for now, while Neil Ramirez emerged as his clear top setup man. I’d think the choice would be between Ramirez and Strop, and not Veras, but I suppose you never know. It doesn’t really matter, but it’s interesting, nevertheless.
For those keeping track at home, the Cubs’ bullpen is currently Strop, Ramirez, Russell, Wright, Veras, Villanueva, Schlitter, Grimm. When Rondon returns, you’d think Schlitter would probably go back to Iowa for the time being.