This was the week to make procedural roster moves, as Addison Russell (domestic violence suspension) and Oscar De La Cruz (PED suspension) were both due to be reinstated this week, which meant their sojourn off of the 40-man roster had to come to an end.
To open up a spot for Russell, the Cubs moved Brandon Morrow to the 60-day Injured List (that takes a guy off of the 40-man for the time he’s on the IL).
Today, it was De La Cruz’s turn to come back, and it’s another 60-day IL stint for a reliever that opens a spot: Tony Barnette, signed in the offseason, is headed to the 60-day IL. Barnett, 35, was dealing with a shoulder issue almost from the outset of Spring Training (I think that may have been part of the reason he signed late on a relative bargain deal, given his success with the Rangers in the past few years). He’d been rehabbing at Iowa, but apparently is still not close to a return. The 60-day designation means he won’t be back until close to June, at the earliest.
For now, that’s not a huge issue, as the bullpen was already experiencing a crunch on guys in that range of upside/ability. Hopefully Barnette can get fully healthy, get back to his recent level of effectiveness, and the work into the mix when the need arises, perhaps closer to the second half.