It looks like the Cubs were trying to get lefty pitching prospect Eric Jokisch off of the 40-man roster by sneaking him through waivers here in the first week and a half of the big league season – that’s often the time to do it, since rosters are crowded and teams are still sorting themselves out post-Spring Training.
Unfortunately it didn’t work, as Jokisch has been claimed by the Miami Marlins.
Jokisch, 26, was the Cubs’ 11th rounder in 2010 out of Northwestern, and worked his way steadily up through the Cubs’ system as a solid command/control guy. Those types, especially with some college polish, often do very well in the lower and middle minors, dispatching less experienced hitters. Jokisch’s numbers at AA and below (and even in his first taste of AAA) were really quite solid, and there was a time when he was considered a top 25 type Cubs prospect. The highlight of his time with the Cubs was a no-hitter at Tennessee back in August 2013.
Jokisch got a cup of coffee with the Cubs in 2014, but injuries and ineffectiveness in 2015 and Spring Training 2016 ultimately cost him a shot at a big league role with the Cubs, and apparently the team decided they could risk losing him as depth at this point.
Given the plausible starting pitchers in the Cubs’ bullpen already, the higher-upside starting options already at AAA Iowa, and the fact that no one seemed to be viewing Jokisch as a relief option, moving on makes sense.
The Cubs’ 40-man roster now stands at 39.