The September Call-up Parade is here.
According to multiple reports, pitchers Dan Straily, Eric Jokisch, Brian Schlitter, Zac Rosscup, and, yes, Arodys Vizcaino have been summoned at the close of the AAA season. Joining them in Chicago are outfielder Junior Lake and catcher Rafael Lopez.
As discussed previously, Jokisch and Lopez were not previously on the 40-man roster, so they have been added. To open up the one additional necessary spot, Justin Ruggiano (ankle surgery) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Each of the pitchers is likely to throw out of the bullpen for now, with starts available for Straily and Jokisch, in theory, if there is an opening in the now six-man rotation at some point.
Vizcaino, the hard-throwing reliever the Cubs got a couple trade deadlines ago for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson, could soon make his long-awaited debut with the big team. He struggled a bit in limited time at AAA, but everyone believes his arm is legit. It’s just a matter of coming back from a couple years on the shelf (2012 and 2013), and two elbow surgeries (TJS and bone spurs). If he puts it together, Vizcaino could be a huge part of the Cubs’ bullpen in 2015.
Lopez, 26, hit .290/.393/.386 between AA and AAA this year (despite his age, it was just his third full professional season). That the Cubs are adding him to the 40-man roster now confirms that they do see back-up catcher (or better) long-term potential there. I hope he gets some starts this month.
It’s a mild surprise that Chris Rusin and Dallas Beeler were not added, which may or may not speak to their future with the organization. It could just be that they’re in for a break at the end of the season. The only other guy who had a plausible shot at a call-up was Mike Olt, who’s been out with a hamstring injury.