Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs roster shuffling continues with a trade and a DL stint

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Apr 24, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Jason Heyward (22) is greeted by shortstop Addison Russell (right) greets after hitting a three run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Jason Heyward (22) is greeted by shortstop Addison Russell (right) greets after hitting a three run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Shortly before their series opener against the Rockies got postponed, the Chicago Cubs made two more roster moves. Neither of which were unexpected.

With an 18-inning marathon against the Yankees last night, the Chicago Cubs bullpen is again taxed. Thus, with a quick turnaround, it was expected the Cubs might make a move to bring up another reliever. They did just that, although with a player that most are not familiar.

In what was not an entirely surprising move, the Cubs placed OF Jason Heyward on the 10-day DL with a sprained finger in right hand. Heyward has missed the last few games because of a sore knuckle after making a diving catch on Friday. Heyward’s DL stint is retroactive to May 6th, meaning he’s eligible to come off the DL, May 15th, a week from day.

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After struggling offensively last year, Heyward is off to a hot start, slashing .253/.333/.364 in 28 games. He has hit three homers and 17 RBI. It was evident that Heyward’s finger was still bothering him when Maddon refused to use him in an 18 inning last night.  At that point, it became increasingly likely that the Cubs might place him on the DL. With the DL only 10 days now, this was a no-brainer.

Cubs Add More Pitching

The Cubs then purchased the contract of RHP Dylan Floro. Floro, 26, was drafted by Tampa Bay Rays in the 13th round of the 2013 draft. The Cubs got him off waivers in January. Floro did pitch in 12 games last year with Tampa Bay, going 0-1 with a 4.20 ERA. Floro becomes the ninth member of the Cubs bullpen, so who knows how long he will be here. If he impresses though, the Cubs could decide to keep him at the big-league level and send Felix Pena or Justin Grimm back to minors.

In a separate move, the Cubs officially parted ways with Matt Szczur, trading him to the Padres in exchange for righty Justin Hancock. Everyone knew the value of Matt Szczur, who’s a solid bench/platoon player and played a big role in the Cubs championship last year. However, he fell victim to a crowded outfield and the need for extra bullpen arms. Hopefully, he latches only nicely with the Padres.

In return, the Cubs get pitching depth in Justin Hancock. Hancock was the Padres #25 prospect after the 2015 season and features a fastball that tops out around 95mph. Hancock, 26, has not yet cracked the big leagues and has been primarily a starter in the minors. He owns a 3.91 career ERA in the minors in 116 games and 90 starts.

Next: Cubs pitching options while Anderson is out

This move is a win for the Cubs as it provides more pitching depth. Hancock could be someone who will get a look at the big-league club. He’s the classic reclamation project, and the Cubs tend to be good at those. This likely won’t be the last of the roster moves as the Cubs will need a 5th starter soon.

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