We got a series of roster moves tonight for the Cubs, though not one involving Anthony Rizzo, who is feeling better today (though Kris Bryant is not).
Instead, it’s a couple pitcher swaps:
⇒ Trevor Megill heads back down to Iowa, lefty Adam Morgan called up.
⇒ Ryan Tepera (calf) hits the Injured List, Tommy Nance called back up.
⇒ Matt Duffy moves to the 60-day IL to open up a spot for Morgan.
Megill was yesterday’s fill-in arm, and obviously it did not go well. Hopefully there was something funky going on that he can adjust to.
Morgan, 31, is a legit big league reliever (a number of good years with the Phillies) who was recovering from an elbow surgery late last year (flexor, not UCL), and was always expected to eventually join the Cubs’ bullpen (or at least he was before it got really, really loaded). His numbers at Iowa, like just about everyone there, were stupid good: 16.1 IP, 2.20 ERA, 32.3% K rate, 4.6% BB rate (and even better the last two weeks). There were a number of guys who could’ve gotten the call, but he’s a perfectly good choice. He might’ve also had an opt-out coming as many guys on minor league deals do.
Morgan required a 40-man spot, and that comes via Duffy, who last played May 22, so he’s now officially out through at least the week after the All-Star break (so he could come back around July 22). That was tentatively expected anyway. Sadly.
Meanwhile, Tepera goes on the IL with the left calf strain, which is hopefully at least a partial explanation for his struggles over the past week. Now his arm gets some badly-needed rest, and maybe he can get mechanically right as the calf heals up. We don’t yet have reason to know whether this is a long-term injury, and the Cubs have the cover of a deep bullpen group, but you certainly don’t want to be without Tepera for too long.
As for Nance, he comes right back up (replacing an injury, so permitted) after being optioned yesterday. He probably never even left the team. He threw three innings in the finale against the Dodgers, looking as good as he’s looked post-sticky-stuff-enforcement-era.