With Brett Anderson on the disabled list, the Chicago Cubs are expected to call up Eddie Butler from Triple-A Iowa to start on Friday night.
According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN, Eddie Butler is slated to start for the Chicago Cubs on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs’ rotation currently boasts a 4.62 ERA, ranking 23rd in the league.
Chicago acquired Butler from the Colorado Rockies during the offseason via trade. Butler, 26, is a former top pitching prospect who was drafted by the Rockies in the first round (46th overall) of the 2012 MLB Amateur draft.
Resume with the Rockies
Butler made quick work of the minor leagues in the Rockies’ system and earned a call-up in June 2014. Unfortunately, Butler struggled badly at the big-league level, giving up 12 earned runs over 16 innings pitched in 2014. The right-hander finished the year in the minors after making just a trio of starts.
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The right-hander started the 2015 season as the club’s fifth starter, but once again failed to see results. In 16 starts, Butler went 3-10 with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP over the course of 79 1/3 innings pitched.
Things didn’t get any better in 2016, either. Butler churned out a 7.17 ERA after pitching 64 innings in nine starts, going 2-5.
Second team, second chance
Maybe a change of scenery is just what Butler needs to get on the right track. From the Chicago Cubs’ standpoint, Butler could wind up being another Jake Arrieta case. A once-promising starting pitcher who just couldn’t put it all together in the majors, but found success after coming to the Cubs and working with pitching coach Chris Bosio.
In the past, impressive minor league numbers haven’t been a good indicator of major league readiness for Butler, but for what’s it’s worth, he’s been fantastic with the Iowa Cubs so far. In five starts, he is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA over 30 2/3 innings pitched.
With a career 6.50 ERA in three major league seasons with the Rockies, Butler now finds himself in a position to make a fresh start with a new team. This should be a low-pressure situation for him and an easy decision for the Chicago Cubs.
If he stinks up the joint, how is that any different from what Brett Anderson has done so far? If he doesn’t, then the Cubs will have an upgrade in the fifth spot of their rotation. Basically, the results coming from the fifth rotation spot can’t get any worse for the Cubs. So why not give it a shot?
Ready to give it another go
With Butler taking over in the rotation, at least for a while, the Cubs will get to keep Mike Montgomery in the bullpen. This lets them keep two left-handers in the pen.
Butler will make his first big league start of 2017 against Cardinals pitcher Mike Leake (4-1, 1.79 ERA) on Friday.