The Chicago Cubs have sent out pitchers Adbert Alzolay and Tyson Miller, each of whom were up for yesterday’s doubleheader. Miller’s is a normal option (not eligible to return to the Cubs for 10 days unless replacing injury), and although Alzolay’s is, too, he was the 29th man yesterday, which means he’s eligible to return whenever.
And he will indeed return sooner than 10 days, because David Ross said Alzolay – as expected – is gonna be the guy to take that open start on Thursday. I say good. I want to see him in action again.
Meanwhile, taking Miller’s place on the roster and in the bullpen (and Steven Souza’s spot on the 40-man roster) is a new arm, Matt Dermody.
The #Cubs today selected the contract of LHP Matt Dermody from the club’s South Bend Alternate Site.
RHPs Adbert Alzolay and Tyson Miller were optioned to South Bend. pic.twitter.com/dX0OzIkdry
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 6, 2020
You don’t know Dermody, because the big lefty was a very quiet signing out of independent ball for the Cubs over a month ago. Since we don’t know how he’s done since being at South Bend, here’s what we said when he was signed:
Specifically, the 30-year-old Dermody is a big lefty, which the Cubs are really lacking right now. Even in the expanded 11-man bullpen, the Cubs have just two lefties: Kyle Ryan and Rex Brothers. Brad Wieck is currently on the IL.
At 6’5″, Dermody is another super tall reliever (the Cubs seem to have targeted a lot of those guys as fringe relievers in recent years), who throws a fastball-slider combo, and who walked just 2.6% of the batters he faced at AAA last year (it was a partial year because he was coming back from May 2018 Tommy John surgery). He hasn’t found big league success yet, though, and his upper minors numbers are not overwhelming. My guess is this is a bit of a post-TJS scouting play – maybe the Cubs saw something he was doing with the Sugar Land Skeeters that they thought they could work with.
The Cubs could’ve brought up Justin Steele, who was already on the 40-man roster, if they just wanted a lefty, so I expect this means they specifically wanted to bring up Dermody. Is it possible he’s been too impressive at South Bend – after being too impressive in indy ball – for the Cubs to not give him a look before the offseason?
In any case, it’s gonna take the right (or wrong!) game situation for Dermody to get an inning of work, so we might not see him before he’s replaced – perhaps on Thursday by Alzolay? – but I hope we do eventually.