Just moments ago, we learned that one of the Cubs top overall prospects, Ian Happ, was promoted from High-A Myrtle Beach to Double-A Tennessee. As it turns out, he’s not the only new player headed that way.
Check it out:
ROSTER MOVES (1/4): INF Ian Happ transferred from High-A Myrtle Beach; RHP Joe Nathan added on MLB Rehab assignment. pic.twitter.com/c4E08iKpO3
— Smokies on Radio (@SmokiesOnRadio) June 23, 2016
On Twitter, the Smokies have reported that former Major League reliever Joe Nathan will begin his 30 day rehab assignment in Double-A Tennessee. Nathan, you’ll recall, signed a Major League Deal with the Chicago Cubs back in the middle of May, but was immediately placed on the 60-Day disabled list, as he rehabbed from his second career Tommy John Surgery from early last season.
At the time, we opined, that the Cubs willingness to extend Nathan a Major League deal (as opposed to a Minor League one), likely indicated that 1) they strongly believed in his ability to return by the second half of the season and 2) there was at least some other interest around the league. Before going down in the beginning of 2015, Nathan was a successful closer as recently as 2013 with the Rangers. That year, he finished with a 1.39 ERA (2.26 FIP) over 64.2 innings pitched en route to saving 43 games. He also saved 35 games the following season in Detroit, but struggled a bit more in the process (4.81 ERA).
Given his past pedigree and the current state of flux the Cubs bullpen seems to be in, Nathan can be a nice option in the second half. Given the present date and length of his rehab assignment, I wouldn’t expect to see Nathan in Chicago until just after the All-Star Break.
We’ll have more on this in the coming days.