Well, if you thought swapping out Yu Darvish (10-Day DL, illness) for tonight’s starter Jen-Ho Tseng was going to be the end of the pre-game action today, you were mistaken (I’m mostly speaking to myself, here).
Indeed, the Cubs just announced a flurry of roster moves, the most notable of which includes sending right fielder Jason Heyward to the 7-day concussion disabled list. Apparently, Heyward injured himself leaping in attempt to rob Dexter Fowler’s walk-off home run ball on Sunday evening. Brett’s got a post on more of that right here.
As for the corresponding moves:
Zastryzny here, Mazzoni optioned, Heyward on 7-day concussion DL list retro to Monday, Bote up
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) May 8, 2018
Let’s take it one at a time.
With Heyward hitting the DL, the Cubs wanted to get a bat to replace him, so they recalled infielder David Bote, who was up with the club earlier this year when Ben Zobrist hit the disabled list. Bote got nine plate appearances across three games last time up, hitting one double, scoring one run, while striking out three times.
At Triple-A Iowa, however, Bote is slashing a mean .333/.393/.605 (156 wRC+), with a 9.0% walk rate and 18.0% strikeout rate (while playing third base). He’ll likely remain on the bench for most of his time up, but he remains a relatively exciting utility prospect.
As for the pitcher swap … the Cubs just added Corey Mazzoni yesterday, but after throwing an inning last night, they might just want a fresh arm for today, which matters more given what might be a short outing from fill-in starter Jen-Ho Tseng.
So basically, I believe getting Rob Zastryzny up here was mostly about getting a fresh arm (plus he has experience in the big leagues and is on the 40-man, which is always a plus) than anything else. At Iowa this year, Zastryzny has earned a 2.35 ERA (4.18 FIP) over 15.1 IP. He’s had some issues with command (13.9%), but again: fresh arm + big league experience matters. Also, Zastryzny last pitched on May 5.
And of course, perhaps most importantly, there’s also the fact that Zastryzny and Bote were already on the 40-man roster. So with Mazzoni going down and Heyward headed to the DL, no corresponding/other roster moves were necessary.