Cubs Roster Moves: Wesneski, Boxberger, Estrada, Burdi, Sampson

As hinted at earlier and reasonably guessed, the Chicago Cubs today made a flurry of roster moves designed to supplement the bullpen after this weekend’s blowout losses and in advance of tonight’s Houston Astros series opener.

The moves:

  • RHP Brad Boxberger placed on 15-day IL (retroactive to May 14) with right forearm strain
  • RHP Jeremiah Estrada recalled from Iowa
  • RHP Nick Burdi selected from Iowa (i.e., placed on the 40-man roster and called up)
  • RHP Hayden Wesneski optioned to Iowa
  • RHP Adrian Sampson transferred to 60-day IL
  • Estrada and Burdi we discussed earlier, and it’ll be great to have a little more velocity in the bullpen – and an opportunity for each guy to perhaps try to lock down a spot going forward. Of note, even though Burdi has three seasons of big league experience, he does still have minor league options remaining. So, like Estrada, the Cubs could move him up and down from Iowa this year if they want to keep him on the 40-man roster.

    As for Wesneski being optioned out, we also discussed that earlier in the context of Kyle Hendricks looking ready to return. This move suggests that, indeed, Hendricks will take Wesneski’s spot in the rotation later this week or the next time through (off-days could permit a short-term four-man rotation).

    It is not a slight on Wesneski in the least, and instead is simply a nod to (1) wanting to see how Hendricks performs now that he’s fully rehabbed and has had his mechanics reworked, and (2) give Wesneski a chance to continue working on his various needs in a controlled environment (four-seamer command, cutter and changeup consistency, etc.). I have no doubt that Wesneski will be back as soon as there is a starting need.

    Sampson to the 60-day IL is merely procedural to open up a 40-man spot. Sampson has been out for a good long while after knee surgery, and I’m not quite sure when he’ll be able to return.

    As for Boxberger, you hope that this is more of a lingering issue that has maybe been causing him problems all season (he has not looked all that great), rather than a serious injury. Thankfully, because of the depth, the Cubs can afford to take their time in allowing him to get right – a healthy and effective Boxberger has been quite good the last couple years.

    Bonus on Burdi:

    written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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