Cubs Release Two Arms from the Iowa Bullpen as the Minor League Shuffle is Underway

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Cubs Release Two Arms from the Iowa Bullpen as the Minor League Shuffle is Underway

Chicago Cubs

Part of the trickle down of big league rosters shrinking from 28 to 26 is that you had, among other things, an outflow of players from MLB directly to their Triple-A affiliates. That, in turn, means roster considerations at Triple-A, as well as playing time considerations. The latter may not lead to a guy getting bumped off of a roster, but if he’s a veteran and has an opt out in his minor league deal? He might decide he can take a better swing elsewhere.

Which is not to say the latest Iowa Cubs transactions were opt outs – they are officially listed as “released” – but the bigger point stands that innings at Iowa are about to be shifted around: two veteran reclamation relievers signed by the Cubs this offseason, Eric Yardley and Kevin McCarthy, are already out the door.

Yardley, a sidearmer with previous big league success, couldn’t find the strike zone enough at Iowa, and when he did he was far too hittable. It’s all small dose, small sample stuff, but eventually you have to make a decision to open things up for others, even if it’s earlier than “OK, that’s a reasonable sample on which to make a decision.”

McCarthy, who was long successful with the Royals, wasn’t struggling quite as much as Yardley, but didn’t show enough to be seriously considered for a big league bump any time soon.

One of the spots in the Iowa bullpen will be taken by Locke St. John, who is returning from the big league team, but the other spot will be available if the Cubs want to bump an arm from Double-A Tennessee (Bryan Hudson has been ridiculous, Blake Whitney and Eury Ramos have been very good, etc.). It’s also possible that, from an innings standpoint, there are other ways the Cubs want Triple-A opportunities distributed than what was happening with Yardley and McCarthy on the roster. It remains to be seen.

Eventually, there will be rehabbing arms, too, because you not only have big league guys like Alec Mills and Wade Miley and Ethan Roberts, but also minor league guys like Brendon Little and Jonathan Holder and Steven Brault and Dakota Mekkes and Manny Rodriguez.

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.