June 15, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Cubs are on pace for the third overall pick in next June’s MLB Draft. That’s the good news. The bad? That means the club has the third-worst record in all of baseball.
With that in mind, the September call-ups offer Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer a prime opportunity to get a look at some of the players in the lower levels of the organization who could play a role in 2014 and beyond.
Four players were added to the 25-man roster; left-handers Brooks Raley and Zach Rosscup, in addition to pitcher Justin Grimm, who came to the Cubs as part of the Matt Garza deal in July, and catcher J.C. Boscan. In a corresponding roster move, outfielder Dave Sappelt, who came to the Cubs as one of the three players sent to Chicago in the Sean Marshall trade, was designated for assignment.
There were no big-time prospects involved in this batch of September call-ups, which disappointed some Chicago fans, but with none of the organization’s top talent having had any time at Triple-A, it came as little surprise to many.
For the majority of the season, manager Dale Sveum has relied solely on just one left-hander in his bullpen, James Russell. The addition of Raley and Rosscup offer him multiple options, and will allow Russell to rest more – given he has already appeared in over 70 games this season.
Raley, 25, appeared in one game for Chicago this season, but has spent the majority of the year with Triple-A Iowa, where he has compiled an 8-10 record with a 4.46 ERA in 25 starts and 27 total appearances. His WHIP stands at 1.323. The aforementioned 4.46 ERA is his highest single-season mark in his professional career.