Well I doubt the Cubs would’ve expected this coming into the season, but Eddie Butler’s 14.2 innings pitched aren’t just the most on the team, they are the most by any reliever in all of baseball.
Sure, he was recently a starting pitcher and also had that one really long extra-inning appearance, but he’s pitched A LOT in the early going, and it’s finally caught up with him: today, the Cubs placed Butler on the 10-day disabled list with a right groin strain. In his place, the Cubs have called up right-hander Luke Farrell from Iowa.
Not only has Butler thrown a ton of innings overall this season, his second to last outing was a lengthy 3.2 IP and his most recent appearance (yesterday) saw him give up 3 earned runs on 2 walks and 2 hits … without recording an out. To that end, sure, Butler might be hurt/dealing with a nagging groin injury, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t *partly* a move to give him a little rest and get a fresh arm up.
After all, the recentl- shortened 10-day disabled list provides teams with a little more flexibility under these circumstances. The Cubs didn’t use it entirely to their advantage last year, but perhaps they’ll be a bit more liberal with the DL in 2018 (like most other teams were/have been).
As for Farrell, he’s been … pitching at Triple-A Iowa this year, which I say with a pause, because he hasn’t had much success just yet: 5.91 ERA, 3.93 FIP. On the bright side, he does have a 22.9% strikeout rate and a 6.3% walk rate. So perhaps he can – at least – come up and throw strikes in a blowout, if needed.
Farrell, 26, is mostly a fastball/slider guy (his four-seamer sits in the low 90s), but he does mix in the occasional changeup and curveball, too. Don’t expect to see too much of him over the next ten days unless there are a lot of blowouts and/or a very used up bullpen.
I’m still excited to see what the Cubs have in Eddie Butler, the reliever, so let’s hope he heals up and gets back out there soon.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 20, 2018