Eddie Butler continues to do it all. First, he snuck onto the Chicago Cubs’ roster out of camp. Now, he saves his teammates on a very regular basis.
Butler’s contract had no options remaining. That likely gave him a slight leg up on the other two. But, at the end of the day, he did enough to earn the 25th spot on the roster coming out of Arizona.
At least early on in the season, the Cubs’ choice of Butler is paying major dividends.
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Entering the Tuesday opener against St. Louis, Butler totaled 14 2/3 innings. That figure ranks third on the staff – trailing only Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish. The majority of those innings came in two appearances.
The first, a masterful seven-inning relief effort against the Marlins in a 2-1 loss on March 30. The second lengthy outing came on April 14 as part of the dramatic come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Braves.
Coming out of Spring Training, I thought Dillion Maples should get the final bullpen spot. I’ll gladly admit I was slightly disappointed when he didn’t. Knowing what I know now, I’m glad Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Joe Maddon are in charge – and not me.
After I gave it some thought, I realized the most logical reason Butler made the team instead of Maples is clear. Longevity. Butler gives the Cubs a right-handed long man to go along with lefty Mike Montgomery.
Can Butler keep it up?
Whether or not Butler will be able to pitch this well for the entire 2018 season remains to be seen, but it is thanks to this red-bearded righty the average baseball fan probably knows nothing about that the other Cubs’ relievers’ arms aren’t already to fall off.