Well, this was something we’ve expected might happen since the beginning of the season, but today it finally did: The Chicago Cubs have designated outfielder Matt Szczur for assignment. Bummer.
Here it is from the Cubs:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 6, 2017
Szczur, as you may recall, has been a difficult man to keep on the Cubs’ roster, given that he’s without any remaining options (meaning that he cannot/could not be freely sent to and from the Minor Leagues anymore). Even still, the Cubs have managed to manipulate their roster just enough to keep him around for quite a while.
Unfortunately, the Cubs bullpen has been heavily taxed lately, and Brett Anderson has not had much success as a Cub yet. So, in other words, extra pitching help was probably going to be necessary – if not today, then soon (no off days until Thursday). But, as Sahdev Sharma points out on Twitter, being forced into bringing up a ninth man for the bullpen will be quite a sad and unfortunate way to potentially lose a guy like Szczur.
In limited duty this year, Szczur hasn’t hit too well (.211/.273/.263), but has provided solid outfield defense and good base running. Because of the new CBA, the Cubs have seven days to trade, waive, or release Szczur. If they cannot work out a trade, it is very likely that he’ll be taken by another team (he’s a solid player and could blossom with more opportunities).
In his place, the Cubs have recalled left-handed reliever Rob Zastryzny, who’s been struggling at Triple-A so far this season (6.88 ERA, 5.23 FIP in 17.0 IP), but did have success in the Majors last season (1.13 ERA, 2.15 FIP in 16.0 IP). Brett will likely have more on this later, but for now, there’s the news.