Roster and Bullpen Implications of the Alzolay Call-Up, Juiced Balls, and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation

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Roster and Bullpen Implications of the Alzolay Call-Up, Juiced Balls, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

One more plug for our Bulls coverage, as the NBA Draft is tonight. Make sure you basketball fans stop over to BN Bulls, get caught up on the latest, and then follow us on Twitter and Facebook as it all goes down tonight. Sounds like it could be an atypically busy draft. If only MLB allowed draft trades …

  • Although the Adbert Alzolay call-up, itself, necessarily deserves the bulk of the attention, we should also note the roster-related impact. To make room on the 25-man roster, lefty Tim Collins was designated for assignment. Because Collins has at least five years of service time, even though he has minor league options remaining, he has the right to refuse an option to Iowa. Thus, if the Cubs wanted him off the 25-man roster, their only choices are to get him to agree to an option or to DFA him – the implication, then, is that he did not want to be optioned, and instead would like the opportunity to be claimed by another team on waivers or hit free agency.
  • The DFA also opens up an additional 40-man roster spot, which was not necessary for Alzolay, because he was already on the 40-man roster. That spot might soon be necessary, though, if the Cubs want to activate righty Tony Barnette from the 60-day Injured List, for example (guys on the 60-day IL do not count against the 40-man roster). He’s been dominating at Iowa, and is likely pretty darn close to being able to join the big league pen (perhaps as soon as tomorrow, if Alzolay does not stick beyond tonight).
  • And speaking of Barnette and the bullpen, man, there’s gonna be a whole lot of movement there in the coming weeks. Soon, Craig Kimbrel will be joining the group. When Kyle Hendricks returns from the IL, that would bump Tyler Chatwood back to the bullpen. Carl Edwards Jr. will probably be returning within a week or two. Barnette is coming. Dillon Maples should be back eventually. And then you’ve got trade season, when the Cubs will be targeting a lefty. Get ready for loads and loads of shuffling.
  • Speaking of Kimbrel, he’ll make his second Iowa Cubs appearance tomorrow.
  • The Cubs beat up Lucas Giolito last night, a sentence that wouldn’t have been all that impressive a year ago, but the dude has been brilliant this year. Via “Giolito entered Wednesday having allowed just six earned runs over his previous eight outings, in which he went 8-0 with a 0.94 ERA with 65 strikeouts, 14 walks and two homers allowed in 57 1/3 innings.”
  • Although Maddon’s not gonna say the balls are juiced, the balls are juiced:

  • From that piece, Andracki also notes that the Cubs now have five players at 15 homers or more … no other team in baseball has more than three.
  • Those five players, by the way: Anthony Rizzo (19), Javy Baez (17), Kyle Schwarber (16), Kris Bryant (15), and Willson Contreras (15).
  • Speaking of Contreras’s two homers last night, a couple additional fun facts: they came on the third anniversary of his first big league plate appearance, when he homered on ESPN in the Father’s Day game; the grand slam was his first since he did it last year also against the White Sox and also in the first inning.
  • Jon Lester gave up a homer on the first pitch of the game, and at least he had a sense of humor about it:

  • *single tear*:

  • The Dodgers are just stupid good:

  • Note that lefty Rich Hill is headed for an MRI, though, after experience forearm discomfort, which always makes you nervous.
  • We have jokes:

  • Draft prep:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.