The Chicago Cubs will get some bullpen help by calling up former All-Star Joe Nathan from Triple-A Iowa.
On May 17, 2016, the Chicago Cubs signed the veteran reliever, a looking for low-risk/high reward move. Joe Nathan’s last full season in the MLB was 2014, in which he pitched 58 innings in 62 appearances. His strikeouts (54) and save (37) totals were on par with the rest of his career. His ERA was 4.81.
The right-handed reliever brings 15 years of experience that will help develop the rest of the bullpen, especially young players like Carl Edwards and Hector Rondon. But, he also brings an aging body that is coming off of Tommy John surgery. When interviewed by
When interviewed by ESPN Staff Writer Bradford Doolittle before the game with the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon said that he likes the “names” in the bullpen, and thinks that it is enough. He goes on to say he cannot push Edwards or Nathan, maybe using them every three or four days. “Talking about those two guys,” Maddon states, “I have to be careful.”
More from Chicago Cubs News
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
- Cubs might start to limit Justin Steele’s workload soon
- Cubs: Adrian Sampson is forcing his way into the conversation
- Projecting the Chicago Cubs bullpen to open the 2023 season
- Cubs fans are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel
The depth is welcomed, but the Cubs are still not sure what they have in Nathan. His performance in the minors has been up and down. Scouts state that his fastball is consistently hitting 93-94 MPH.
In seven appearances in Double-A Tennessee, Nathan had a 2.40 ERA and only six strikeouts. His performance in Triple-A included 2 2/3 innings in four games, finishing with a 6.75 ERA.
Does it make the bullpen better? Currently, the pen boasts a 3.80 ERA, 15th in the MLB. Edwards has impressed of late, and the addition of Mike Montgomery give the Chicago Cubs options.
They could move Strop to the seventh inning, rotating Edwards, Montgomery, and Nathan in the eighth inning, depending on health and performance. And, with Travis Wood, Clayton Richard, Justin Grimm, and Adam Warren there are options for all possible scenarios. Or, possible bait for a trade.
Even with Nathan joining, the Chicago Cubs front office will still be looking for a potential trade. Aroldis Chapman is still out there, and the Cubs do have piece for trading. If the ultimate goal is to win the World Series, all options will be on the table.
Right now, it looks good on paper. But even Joe Maddon knows that paper doesn’t take the field and play the game.