Chicago Cubs: Brandon Morrow is key for pen in October
Bass is the kind of edge of the roster player that a team would keep on a full length rehab assignment in a heartbeat. Duensing has been pitching so poorly recently, that the Cubs may use a full length rehab assignment as a pseudo minor league demotion to try and work things out. At this point it looks like Darvish won’t be ready to return from the disabled list until right around Sept.1 anyway. So the Cubs will probably just make sure that they stretch it until then.
That just leaves Morrow. The Cubs want to do everything that they can to make sure that he is ready for the playoffs. It is difficult to operate a bullpen without your closer. However, Pedro Strop and Steve Cishek have been doing their best to fill in. Morrow’s history of arm injuries means that the Cubs will handle him delicately until the playoffs begin.
If the Cubs keep Darvish, Duensing, Bass and Smyly on rehab assignments until after rosters expand and only activate Morrow before Sept. 1, then they will have successfully avoided the roster crunch. They will simply option Rosario down to the minors to make room for Morrow. At the time of Kintzler trade Duensing was not on the disabled list. If Duensing hadn’t suffered an injury, the front office might have eventually been confronted with a difficult roster decision to make.