Chicago Cubs: Added two arms in lefty Holland, righty Phelps
On July 26, the Cubs got their man–well, one of…anyhow–in lefty Derek Holland. He was acquired for cash and would be the only other lefty in the bullpen outside of Kyle Ryan. His job? To get left-handed batters out. He isn’t going to eat up an inning or two. He was specifically brought in to get lefties out.
He’s pitched in two games, and just 1 1/3 innings. In an 11-3 route of Milwaukee, he came in for an inning and faced two righties in the three batters he faced. It’s not that Holland is incapable of getting righties out, but his splits are much better against lefties. Personally, I thought they would flip him for someone that valued him more as a starter like they did Montgomery. I was wrong.
On July 30, the deadline was still a bit stagnant, but that wasn’t stopping the Cubs. They traded for the Toronto Blue Jays David Phelps, sending Tom Hatch their way. Hatch was a 2016 third-round pick but hadn’t risen above Double-A. He was initially drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 32nd round but opted to go to Oklahoma State. He improved his draft stock quite a bit.
Phelps is a Notre Dame guy and has spent seven years in the league. He missed 2018 after having Tommy John surgery. He meddled a bit with the New York Yankees before having a breakout season with the Miami Marlins in 2016. He continued to pitch well in 2017 and then was traded to the Seattle Mariners. It was there that he suffered the torn UCL and his pitching elbow and decided to have Tommy John surgery.
He’s pitched just 17 1/3 innings posting a 3.63 ERA. While he isn’t a left-hander, the Cubs staff feel his cutter could be effective against left-handed hitters. He has a club option for 2020 for $3 million, so he could stick around, especially after the Cubs decided to ship out one of the fan favorites.