We knew moves were coming after the Cubs acquired Austin Jackson yesterday and selected Quintin Berry from Iowa, and now the axe fell on two pitchers: James Russell and Rafael Soriano.
From the Cubs press release:
The Chicago Cubs today recalled infielder Javier Baez and left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada from Triple-A Iowa, activated catcher David Ross off the family medical emergency leave list and added outfielder Austin Jackson to the active roster. Additionally, the Cubs have selected the contracts of outfielder Quintin Berry (post-game last night) and right-handed pitcher Trevor Cahill (today) from Triple-A.
To make room for Berry and Cahill on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher James Russell was designated for assignment (post-game last night) and right-handed pitcher Rafael Soriano was today activated from the 15-day disabled list and designated for assignment. Chicago’s 40-man roster stands at 40 and its active roster stands at 30 players.
Berry will wear uniform number five, Cahill will wear uniform number 53 and Jackson will wear uniform number 27.
Soriano signed with the Cubs as a free agent back in June for a pro-rated $4.1 million one-year contract with bonuses. But Soriano took a while to get back into game shape and when he did, he didn't impress. Soriano pitched in only six games for the Cubs and allowed four runs in 5.2 innings before going on the disabled list.
The Cubs traded Russell to the Braves last season as Atlanta was looking for a left-handed pitcher for the stretch run. But he didn't make the Braves roster out of spring training and the Cubs signed him as a free agent. The move looked like a good one over the first half, when Russell posted a 1.71 ERA in 21 innings over 33 games. But since the All-Star break, Russell has been ineffective, to put it mildly. In the second half, he's pitched 13 innings and allowed 19 runs, 16 of which were earned. Last night, Russell allowed three unearned runs in a third of an inning.
The Cubs bullpen has been a bit of a bleak spot recently. We hope that manager Joe Maddon can find more effective options in September.