The Chicago Cubs made several roster moves on Thursday. Jim Henderson was released, while three others were optioned to Iowa. Three more were also assigned to the Cubs’ minor league camp.
The Chicago Cubs came into camp pitcher heavy as they looked to develop depth in the farm system. With 40 pitchers when they started, they’re slowly working their way down. On Thursday the trimmed it down even further. The Cubs made decisions on six pitchers in all, as well as assigning Jeimer Candelario to Iowa.
When the Cubs brought in Jim Henderson on a minor league deal, he looked to be an intriguing option–and a possible wild card. After missing the entire 2015 season following major shoulder surgery, the Mets gave him a chance last season. In 44 games the results weren’t astounding, but he was showing progression as he worked his way back.
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While there was a noticeable increase in his velocity, Henderson still struggled with the Cubs this spring. In 4 2/3 innings, he had allowed five runs on seven hits while also walking five. Henderson had an opt-out coming up next Wednesday, but the Cubs had clearly seen enough to make the move.
Candelario to Iowa was expected
The Candelario assignment to Iowa was no surprise. After a hot start to the spring, Candelario had cooled off (.250, 13-for-52) but did get the most at-bats of anyone at camp up to this point. The Cubs young third baseman will likely have to wait until September to get another chance, barring and injury.
Along with Candelario, the Cubs optioned RHP Jake Buchanan and Alec Mills to Iowa. The Cubs also assigned RHPs Williams Perez and Dylan Floro and LHP David Rollins to their minor league camp. Rollins has been very impressive after his long journey this offseason, yet to allow a run this spring. But it appears the Cubs may be ready to go with Brian Duensing as a lefty option out of the pen.
Joe Maddon and the Cubs are nearing the final roster, with just a few more decisions to be made. Will the Cubs go with Matt Szczur or Tommy La Stella? We already know that Brett Anderson has officially claimed the fifth spot n the rotation for the Cubs.