With today’s Little League Classic considered a special travel day, the Cubs and Pirates get a 26th man for tonight’s game.
For the Cubs, as spoiled by videos of the shenanigans from Williamsport, that 26th man is outfielder Mark Zagunis. The 26-year-old corner outfielder was on the roster for a good long while early this year, but didn’t get much on the way of opportunities (just 39 below-average plate appearances). At Iowa, he’s hit .296/.359/.482, which looks great, but in the PCL, that’s a mere 102 wRC+ this year (good lord), and he’s also struck out a woeful 33.9% (presumably in an attempt to add the power he’s always lacked).
The more important roster move for the Cubs today is the activation of closer Craig Kimbrel (knee) from the IL. The Cubs didn’t miss him for most of his stint, but man, two late walk-off losses to the Phillies and Pirates changed that feeling. Good to have him back.
He takes the place of Duane Underwood Jr., who looked the part of a big league reliever, but didn’t get many opportunities. He’ll head back to Iowa, and could be back up in September when rosters expand.