He's ALIVE! Eddie Butler Activated from the 60-Day DL, Luke Farrell Optioned to Iowa

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He’s ALIVE! Eddie Butler Activated from the 60-Day DL, Luke Farrell Optioned to Iowa

Chicago Cubs

Well, well, well, we met again, Mr. Butler:

After spending 1 bajillion days on the disabled list, Cubs pitcher Eddie Butler returns to the big league roster, right when the team needed it most (I mean, I loved watching Anthony Rizzo, Victor Caratini (x2), Tommy La Stella, and Ian Happ pitch, but also … enough already.)

Butler, you might recall, started his season off with a heroic 7.0 inning relief appearance against the Marlins, before hitting the disabled list with a groin injury on April 20th. After hearing mysteriously little about his plans on returning, Butler was moved to the 60-Day DL and fans were left to wonder.

But back at the beginning of July, Butler began a rehab assignment in Iowa, where things have … not gone great (8.10 ERA in five starts), and now he’s making his triumphant return to the Majors, most likely in case there’s yet another need for the bullpen to cover a ton of innings. With all of this said, remember that, as a reliever, Butler has a little more potential, as he can ratchet up his fastball and streamline the rest of his four-pitch arsenal.

As the Cubs’ statement reads, Butler will be taking the spot of yesterday’s spot starter, Luke Farrell, whom Brett discussed earlier today:

As for Luke Farrell’s spot start, it’s probably the last one he’ll get this season. I really liked what I saw from him early this year when he was a more traditional reliever – having been converted from starting – pairing a sharp slider with a 94 mph four-seamer with great life. He commanded both pitches well, and his strikeout rate was fantastic. Since then, he’s been used in a much broader range of roles – multi-inning, mop-up, starting at AAA, and starting in the big leagues – and it’s been ugly. The command has faltered, the third pitch (curveball) doesn’t play, and the fastball velocity has dipped. Were we judging based on this season, alone, I’d say it’s clear that Farrell is a big leaguer in the future only as a traditional middle reliever. Maybe he can keep developing, but I’d like to see the Cubs commit to him in that kind of role going forward to see what he might be in the future. The starting thing? Let it pass.

With luck, the Cubs won’t need Eddie Butler tonight, because Kyle Hendricks will throw a complete game shutout (and make it a “Maddux”), but just in case, he’s there.

Two final points: First, Butler is out of options, which means there could be some tricky roster decisions to make when Anthony Bass and Brandon Morrow are ready to return. But we’ll cross those bridges when we get there. And second, since Butler’s rehab assignment began on July 1 (you only get 30 days), he had just a week – maximum – left before he had to come back up. Perhaps, then, the tricky roster decisions have already begun.


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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami