With rosters expanding today to include anyone on the 40-man roster, the Cubs have, expectedly, added a few more names to their roster.
Already (as evidenced by the lineup), we know that the Cubs have brought back left-handed outfielder Chris Coghlan (again), but a few others will join him too:
Cubs activate Joe Smith, select contract of reliever Jake Buchanan from Iowa.
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) September 1, 2016
Indeed, for more on Chris Coghlan and his return to the Cubs, I’ll point you to his dedicated post (which just went up a few moments ago). As for the others, the Cubs will add a little bullpen help on a day when swing-man Mike Montgomery is scheduled to make his third start for Chicago (nice timing).
Joe Smith, you’ll recall, went to the Disabled List with a hamstring strain back in the middle of August, but has since made a couple of relief appearances in Triple-A Iowa (2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1H, 0BB, 2Ks). His short time with the Cubs this season (3.2 IP) hasn’t quite gone as hoped (7.36 ERA), but with a comfortable lead and expanded rosters, the Cubs will see if they can squeeze anything out of him before making decisions for the playoffs.
Jake Buchanan, on the other hand, is someone we’re a little less familiar with. As a 26-year-old righty, Buchanan came to the Cubs on a Minor League deal back before the beginning of the season and has been pitching as a starter at Triple-A Iowa ever since. Through 22 starts this season (141.0 IP), Buchanan has collected a 4.34 ERA (3.80 FIP). He doesn’t walk many batters (6.3%), but he doesn’t really strike them out either (17.3%). Perhaps throwing out of the bullpen will allow his stuff to play up (and his repertoire to narrow) and he’ll be a more dangerous weapon.
If you were hoping for some more call-ups, though (like Jeimer Candelario, Albert Almora Jr., others) there’s still time. Iowa’s season doesn’t end until September 5th and as long as any player is already on the 40-man roster (like those two position players are), they are eligible for the playoffs.
Indeed, Bruce Miles suggests this is all were likely to see, for now …
In addition to Coghlan being activated, Joe Smith is off the DL and pitcher Jake Buchanan selected from Iowa. That's it for now. #Cubs
— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) September 1, 2016
So it’s an outfielder (Coghlan) and some relief help (Smith, Buchanan) who join the Cubs on September first, as rosters expand.