Cubs avoid any controversial roster-trimming drama
Across Major League Baseball, teams faced some tough decisions as rosters were trimmed from 28 to 26 players heading into the month of May. Thankfully, for the Chicago Cubs, this was a relatively painless and drama-free process.
The first man dropped is right-hander Ethan Roberts, who hit the injured list with right shoulder inflammation following his last outing. During that appearance, he showed greatly diminished velocity on his fastball – and was hit hard of late. Hopefully, some rest is all that’s needed and no structural issues are discovered, because early on, the right-hander was lights-out.
In his first five appearances, Roberts carried a 2.08 ERA – but that mark skyrocketed to 8.22 after a series of rough showings. He was a feel-good story coming out of spring training, and hopefully he’ll be back on the mound after a few weeks on the shelf.
The other odd man out is left-hander Locke St. John, who was optioned back to Triple-A Iowa. He made a pair of big league appearances this year, allowing three earned over two innings of work. Last season with the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate, he did a little bit of everything, making 36 appearances – including five starts and eight games finished – working to a 2.58 ERA in the process.
So, unlike teams like the Mets – who elected to eat nearly $40 million when they designated Robinson Cano for assignment – the Cubs’ moves equated to transactional decisions with no major impact on the makeup of the roster.
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I wrote earlier Tuesday about the success of the Cubs’ bullpen in the season’s first month and we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on that mix of arms here in May. There’s been a lot to like – and if Chicago wants to have any chance of causing some trouble, that trend will have to continue.