Today, the Chicago Cubs continued to maneuver in the bullpen, sending yesterday’s reliever du jour Seth Frankoff back to AAA Iowa, and calling up Felix Pena for what is his 30th or so stint at the big league level this year.
If you’ve got the AAA depth to pull it off, it’s a nice way to ensure the bullpen consistently stays as fresh as possible – critical for the Cubs, who’ve seen their starting pitchers consistently in the 5-6-inning-per-start range this year.
Pena, 27, returns to a 3.38 ERA, a 4.33 FIP, and a 4.67 xFIP over 8.0 innings (4 appearances) at the big league level in 2017. He’ll pitch out of middle relief if the Cubs need some innings eaten over the next few days.
Frankoff, 28, presumably will return to starting at AAA, where he’s been very effective. Whether he’ll be shuffled back up as a reliever in the near future remains to be seen.