The Cubs' second stint with an eight-man bullpen -- during which Dale Sveum never went that deep into his pen, but could have used the extra bench player -- has ended:
#Cubs add OF Thomas Neal, claimed off waivers from the Yankees yesterday, to the 25-man roster and option RHP Eduardo Sanchez to @IowaCubs.— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 6, 2013
It's good that Sanchez had options remaining; he'll probably return in September.
Neal, as you know, was acquired on a waiver claim Monday from the Yankees (and Rafael Dolis was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for him on the 40-man roster). He's a righthanded-hitting outfielder who could find himself in a platoon situation with either David DeJesus or Nate Schierholtz. At 25, Neal has had decent power years in the minor leagues but is just 7-for-34 in two brief stints in the big leagues with the Indians in 2012 and the Yankees in 2013.
He might turn out to be nothing. Or, he might turn out to be a decent platoon player in the major leagues. Give him a shot; the Cubs have little to lose by doing so. When Neal makes his first appearance for the Cubs, he will be the 49th player to appear for the 2013 squad. The team record is 53, set last year; I'd think that'll be broken easily.