Cubs Roster Moves: Estrada Called Up, Assad Sent Out
As we speculated this morning in the Bullets, the Cubs are indeed going to bolster the bullpen for today’s game. Starter Javier Assad will head back to Iowa, and reliever Jeremiah Estrada will join the bullpen.
Assad did his best in a short-notice, short-duration, fill-in start last night, and he’s still got some stretching out to do. I think sending him back down makes plenty of sense, even aside from the need in the bullpen. The Cubs can’t bring Assad back, absent a new injury on the roster, for 15 days. In that time, they can bring someone else up to make a start (Caleb Kilian? Riley Thompson? Roenis Elias?), and/or use the off-day next week to at least skip one of those starts.
As for Estrada, this is his role right now: up-down guy. He’s good enough to be a big league reliever, but the Cubs have more than eight of those at the moment. So, as the guy on the 40-man roster with minor league options, he’s likely to be bounced up and down a few times this season … unless he just dominates so thoroughly that the Cubs have no choice but to keep him up. He has the talent to pull that off, though there are probably still some developmental goals in place.