Well, with Brett Anderson headed to the disabled list (and wildly ineffective before that), and with Eddie Butler pitching on the same day at Anderson’s last start, it was always a fair guess that he might be the one to get the call the next time through the rotation.
Sure enough, it’s gonna be Butler:
Eddie Butler will make his Cubs debut on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals in place of injured starter… https://t.co/bTD3jqQtHL
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) May 10, 2017
The Cubs acquired Butler from the Rockies late in the offseason to add to their lacking starting pitching depth. Since the acquisition, the Cubs have worked to get the 26-year-old former top prospect back to more comfortably throwing his two-seamer and getting ground balls. The results at AAA Iowa so far have been spectacular: a 1.17 ERA over 30.2 innings and five starts. But the peripherals have been terrifying: a 13.7% K rate and a 6.5% BB rate (not terrible, but scary when paired with that strikeout rate), each of which were things that torpedoed his initial ascent with the Rockies.
Here’s hoping his last start was the beginning of things really clicking. In it, Butler went six scoreless innings, striking out six and walking none.
It came against the Cardinals’ AAA team, naturally.
Now he’ll face a surging big league Cardinals team in their home park, heading up a Cubs team that just fell to .500. Good luck, dude.
We knew Butler would get a chance with the big league team eventually this year as one of the primary rotation depth pieces. And although there’s no reason to root against Anderson at this point, it would certainly be fantastic for the Cubs long-term if Butler grabbed a rotation spot and ran with it. He has the pedigree and the potential, but so far, he hasn’t put it all together at the big league level. Now we see how he looks with the Cubs.