At the beginning of the day, the Chicago Cubs bullpen was eight-men deep, counting Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr., Brian Duensing, Justin Wilson, Jesse Chavez, Tyler Chatwood, and Randy Rosario.
But the Cubs deadline acquisition, Brandon Kintzler, was going to need a spot eventually and that eventually is, apparently, right now. Today. It just happened. And to make room for him on the roster, the front office chose the path of least resistance:
Rosario optioned to Iowa, Kintzler en route, will wear No. 20
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) August 1, 2018
Rosario’s results this season (1.97 ERA) have been extremely impressive, though his peripherals (5.10 FIP) are anything but. Even if you can manage to look beyond the 14.4% strikeout rate, 12.1% walk rate, and 93.6% strand rate (though you shouldn’t), Rosario’s contact management hasn’t been all that impressive. In fact, it’s been quite bad (15.5% soft-hit rate).
I suppose, what I’m saying here is that Rosario was not only the most easily optioned arm in the bullpen, he probably made the most sense for a reset. For now, he’ll head back to Triple-A Iowa to work on a few things, and you can bet he’ll be back up with the Cubs by – the latest – September 1 (of course, he could always show up before then if someone else gets hurt, but if Brandon Morrow makes his way back before then, the bullpen could get crowded pretty quick).
In any case, Kintzler is now on the roster, wearing #20 according to Mark Gonzalez, and should be available tonight (the Cubs wouldn’t have made this move otherwise). You’re new Cubs bullpen, minus their closer, plus their deadline acquisitions and original fifth-starter looks like this:
- Steve Cishek
- Pedro Strop
- Carl Edwards Jr.
- Brian Duensing
- Justin Wilson
- Jesse Chavez
- Brandon Kintzler
- Tyler Chatwood
Kintzler last pitched on the 28th of July (1 scoreless inning against the Marlins) so you can expect him to be very much available tonight. I’ve also found that Cubs Manager Joe Maddon likes to get guys in there right away when they’re promoted/acquired – maybe he sees it like ripping off the bandaid – so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as one of the first guys out of the ‘pen tonight (depending on the situation, of course).