Chicago Cubs Prospects

Chicago Cubs minors recap: Iowa Cubs reload after call-ups

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Feb 29, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Felix Pena poses for a portrait during photo day at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 29, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Felix Pena poses for a portrait during photo day at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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The minor league season is coming to an end soon for the Chicago Cubs and their affiliates. Only two full weeks remain before the offseason begins, the Cubs have made a flurry of moves to cover a variety of injuries. We cover the chain of moves and cover the past week on this week’s The Call-up.

Iowa Cubs roster rolls over

The past week has presented the Chicago Cubs with a few challenges. In addition to some deflating losses in Colorado, starting pitcher John Lackey and reliever Hector Rondon were both placed on the disabled list.

The injuries don’t seem to be too bad as both are expected to be more than healthy once the playoffs roll around.

In order to fill the roster, the Cubs called up left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny and right-hander Felix Pena from Triple-A Iowa. This marks the major league debut for both players.

Zastryzny, 24, was drafted by the Cubs in the second round in 2013. Most recently, Zastryzny had pitched with Double-A Tennessee before being promoted to Iowa mid-season.

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Felix Pena is playing his seventh professional season with the Cubs. After signing with the Cubs at 19 years old, Pena slowly worked up through the ranks where he started the season with Iowa.

Given the healthy lead in the standings, the Cubs should be able to find appropriate, low-leverage situations for these guys to get their feet wet.

Not to be forgotten, the Iowa Cubs made some corresponding moves in the wake of the Lackey and Rondon injuries. As they have done all year, the Iowa Cubs continue to fill gaps left by the young stars and assets getting the call to Chicago.

The vacancy left on the pitching staff opened the door for lefty Joe Thatcher and righty Stephen Fife. Infielder Stephen Bruno was also added to the roster to bolster the options off the bench.

Thatcher does have some major league experience. Having spent time with the Indians and Dodgers, Thatcher holds a 3.38 ERA in 405 major league games.

Once Lackey and Rondon return, decisions will have to be made, but if Zastryzny and Pena can pull their weight, they may be given an opportunity to stay once the roster expands on September 1st.

Next: Glenn Beckett was key for contenders

Minor League Round-up

Iowa Cubs (60-71) 3rd place in the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division

Last Week: (6-1), This Week: vs. Memphis Redbirds August 21st-23rd, vs. Omaha Storm Chasers August 25th-27

Tennessee Smokies (23-33) 4th place in the 2nd half of the Southern League North Division

Last Week: (2-4), This Week: vs. Jacksonville Suns August 21st, @Jackson Generals August 22nd-26th, vs. Birmingham Barons August 27th

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (36-21) 1st place in the 2nd half of the Carolina League Southern Division

Last Week: (3-3), This Week: vs. Lynchburg Hillcats August 21st, @Carolina Mudcats August 23rd-25th, @Wilmington Blue Rocks August 26th-27th

South Bend Cubs (37-21) 2nd place in the 2nd half of the Midwest League Eastern Division

Last Week: (4-3), This Week: @Lansing Lugnuts August 21st, vs. West Michigan Whitecaps August 22nd-25th, Great Lakes Loons August 26th-27th

Eugene Emeralds (18-7) 1st place in the 2nd half of the Northwest League South Division

Last Week: (6-1), This Week: vs. Everett AquaSox August 21st-24th, @Salem-Keizer Volcanoes August 26th-27th

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