While we are waiting for Monday’s game to begin, the Cubs made a flurry of roster moves:
Let’s begin with Matt Szczur, who has been a popular outfielder for the Cubs for the last two-plus seasons. He’s been known as a consummate teammate and Anthony Rizzo credited Szczur’s bat for helping get him out of a slump during last year’s postseason.
I wish the Cubs could have kept Szczur, but clearly, this was a numbers game. He wasn’t getting much playing time and going to the Padres, a rebuilding team, should get Matt some more time on the field.
This year Szczur was 4-for-19 with a double, two walks and three RBI. Over his Cubs (and big-league to date) career he’s a .243/.295/.370 hitter in 338 at-bats over 202 games, with eight home runs.
All the best to Matt as he continues his career in San Diego.
Justin Hancock was the Padres’ ninth-round pick in the 2011 draft. He’s 26 and not really a prospect. Looks like he was hurt most of 2016 as he pitched in only two games at Triple-A El Paso. This year at Double-A San Antonio he’s been in 10 games, posted a 6.23 ERA and 1.846 WHIP, not really good numbers.
He’s a project, someone who might help down the road if the Cubs staff can help him.
As far as Jason Heyward is concerned, the injury he suffered during Friday’s game is clearly more serious than anyone had anticipated. If he had been available to play during Sunday’s marathon he surely would have at least pinch-hit. The DL stint is retroactive to Friday, so he’ll be out at least eight more days.
Dylan Floro was the Rays’ 13th-round pick in 2012 and had been in their system since then, so Joe Maddon likely had some familiarity with him. He pitched in 12 major-league games for the Rays last year with a 4.20 ERA and 1.867 WHIP, and this year at Triple-A Iowa he had a 5.06 ERA and 1.562 WHIP in six appearances (one start).
Floro has been added to the 40-man roster. This also means that for the time being, the Cubs will be carrying nine relief pitchers again and will have only three bench players. I’d assume that this will change in a day or two. You might see Jeimer Candelario recalled to fill a spot on the bench.
The Cubs’ 40-man roster now stands at 39 players.