Cubs Roster Moves: Rios Sent to Iowa, Mervis Called Up
So far for the day, the Chicago Cubs have announced two roster moves: Edwin Rios is being optioned to Triple-A Iowa, and Matt Mervis is being called up. He has been added to the 40-man roster, which is now full at 40.
You already know about Mervis’s arrival, which Bryan wrote up at length right here. Enjoy the power and what should be some impressive plate appearances. Have patience with the defense and better pitchers maybe out-executing him for a while. Mervis is not here to save this offense today or tomorrow or next week. He could be an important part of bringing up the floor if he’s merely average.
As for Rios, you have undoubtedly noticed that he’s simply not getting any playing time. He hasn’t done much with the time he’s been given (understandable when you’re squeaking out only a couple PAs a week), and it just makes more sense for him to be playing more regularly at Iowa for now. I’m sure it’s a disappointment for him – as it was for Miles Mastrobuoni, for example – but we’ll just have to see how the season proceeds from here.
Yes, this means Eric Hosmer is still on the roster for now, and the Cubs have three 1B/DH types in Hosmer, Mervis, and Trey Mancini (who can at least pitch in a bit in the corner outfield spots). I would expect – demand? – that Mervis and Mancini take almost all of the DH and 1B starts between them. Hosmer will still occasionally get time in the right match-ups, though, and could be a late-inning high-contact bat (when you don’t really care if that contact is a groundball? that’s not even me being a jerk! I’m just thinking it through). Hosmer may also be a really good veteran presence to have around for Mervis as he transitions to the big leagues.
I am regarding these roster moves cautiously because I have been expecting more today. Minor moves, but moves.
Specifically, I was expecting Javier Assad to be optioned back to Iowa after throwing five innings yesterday, and thus being unavailable to the Cubs for at least several days. Are they going to keep him up and have him go back to the bullpen again? No, right? Are they just going to keep him up for four more days so that he can be the corresponding move for Yan Gomes when he’s ready to return? But surely Miguel Amaya isn’t staying up as the third catcher, right? You can see why I was expecting an additional move today, and that’s before considering the weird Adrian Sampson call-up-and-IL move last night. It all kinda pointed to the Cubs, at a minimum, swapping out relievers today. But nothing announced yet.