Now that the non waiver trade deadline has come and gone, it is time to catch up on some of the roster moves the Cubs have made since. For starters, the Cubs brought up starting pitcher Jake Arrieta utilizing a new rule under the current collective bargaining agreement that allows a team to add a 26th man to the roster for a double header. The Cubs of course hosted the Brewers for a pair of games last Tuesday. Cubs fans will remember that Arrieta was part of the return for sending Scott Feldman to the Orioles. Arrieta impressed in his lone start, as he had to be sent right back down as part of the 26th man rule.
After carrying a baffling six outfielders for almost all of the season, the Cubs have drastically cut down the depth to a near bare minimum of four. That was because center fielder Julio Borbon was sent packing. In hindsight the former Ranger was basically Tony Campana 2.0, hitting just .202 with the the North Siders while featuring a dismal .284 OBP for a guy that features speed for a weapon. On that note he did steal seven bases, but like Campana the inability to get on base more consistently did in his time in Chicago.
The corresponding roster move was the call up of Donnie Murphy. The infielder made his Cubs debut on Sunday against the Dodgers, going 0 for 2 including a failed at bat with the bases loaded and one out. This was after posting a .265 average and .338 OBP in Triple A Iowa. It should also be noted that Murphy was given the start at short over Starlin Castro, who would come in as a replacement later in the game.
Castro was not the only infield regular that sat, with double play mate Darwin Barney getting the day off for Login Watkins’ MLB debut. The second base prospect had been promoted to replace Luis Valbuena, who hit the disabled list with a strained oblique. Watkins did collect his first MLB hit to help load the bases, but other wise had an uneventful first day on the job.
Do not expect to see Murphy sub planting Castro too much, but it will be interesting to see how much Watkins is played during his first stint with the Cubs. Fellow rookie Junior Lake has certainly made the most of his opportunities, and while it would be hard to see Watkins suddenly take Gold Glover Barney’s job at second, the versatile prospect has spend time at SS and in the outfield as well.