Since the Iowa Cubs season ended on Monday, the Cubs decided to promote four more players to the major league roster as Albert Almora Jr., Tim Federowicz, Munenori Kawasaki and Spencer Patton will join the team in Milwaukee. Additionally, the Cubs activated Hector Rondon from the disabled list.
The biggest name here is Almora, the Cubs 2012 first-round draft pick who is considered a defensive wizard and will likely serve as a late-inning defensive replacement in Chicago. The 22-year-old Almora spent most of June and July in the majors and hit a respectable .265/.291/.422 with two home runs in 34 games. In Iowa this year, Almora hit .303/.317/.416 with four home runs and ten steals in 80 games. Of course, much of his value comes from his terrific defense in center field.
Federowicz returns to Chicago and he gives manager Joe Maddon that rare luxury of a fourth catcher on the roster. Federowicz can also back up first base and provide a right-handed bat off the bench. In 65 games in Iowa this year, he hit a strong .293/.352/.450 with 8 home runs over just 65 games. His time in Chicago did not show the same kind of production, but to be fair he only got 27 plate appearances as a backup catcher in May.
The veteran infielder Kawasaki gives the Cubs another versatile utility infielder and a character in the clubhouse. This is his third stint with the Cubs this year, although he only got in three at-bats in short stints in the majors in April and July, going 1 for 3. In Iowa this season, the 35-year-old Kawasaki hit .255/.346/.312.
Finally, the 28-year-old right-handed reliever Patton has been on the Des Moines-Chicago Shuttle all year long and this will be his fifth time joining the Cubs this season. In 17.1 innings over 12 major league appearances this year, Patton is 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA. He’s struck out 16 batters in that time, which is good, and he has walked 11, which is not so good. But he was lights-out for Iowa this summer, posting a 0.75 ERA and 11 saves. He struck out 59 batters in just 36 innings while walking an acceptable 15. If we see more of that and less of his earlier major league performance, the Cubs will have a serviceable bullpen arm the rest of the way.
Rondon is returning to the Cubs after going on the disabled list with a triceps injury on August 19.
Those are the only four players who are coming to the majors at this time, joining Jake Buchanan who was added to the major-league roster on September 1. It is unlikely that anyone else will be added later, barring some unforeseen injury.