The first wave of September call-ups has arrived, as the Cubs today have called up relief prospect Dillon Maples, catching prospect Victor Caratini, utility infielder Mike Freeman, and have activated reliever Justin Grimm from the disabled list.
Grimm and Caratini were already on the 40-man roster, so no corresponding moves were necessary there. Maples and Freeman had to be added, though, so the Cubs had to designate two other players for assignment to make room: relief prospect Jose Rosario and AAA Iowa starter Seth Frankoff got the boot.
Frankoff was a minor league signing for the Cubs who had pulled off the atypical bullpen-to-rotation conversion last year in the Dodgers’ system. He pitched reasonably well with the Iowa Cubs this year, but was not going to get a look in September.
Rosario blew onto the scene last year after returning from Tommy John surgery and flashing a huge fastball in relief. He showed so much potential that the Cubs put him on the 40-man roster after the season. Unfortunately, he has dealt with injuries most of this year, and hasn’t been as effective when healthy. Like Frankoff, he wasn’t going to get a look this month.
The Cubs will have seven days to trade, waive, or release Rosario and Frankoff. It’s possible there are rebuilding clubs out there that would be willing to put them on their 40-man roster right now. If not, each will be a minor league free agent after the season, and perhaps the Cubs will try to bring them back.