With the Cubs switching from playing the lefty-heavy Dodgers to the righthanded-hitting Diamondbacks, the Cubs made a somewhat surprising bullpen move Friday:
The #Cubs today recalled RHP Dillon Maples from @IowaCubs. LHP Randy Rosario was optioned to Triple-A following yesterday’s game. pic.twitter.com/isOG5w85Ps— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 26, 2019
Dillon Maples has always had tremendous talent and velocity, as well as an excellent slider. His issue has always been command and control. In 10⅔ major-league innings in 2017 and 2018, he issued 11 walks (even while striking out 20).
Maples’ command was somewhat better in spring training this year — five walks in 8⅔ innings, with 16 strikeouts. That’s 16 Ks in 34 batters faced.
At Iowa this year he has eight walks in eight innings, with 16 strikeouts. However, seven of those eight walks were in his first three outings. Over the last four: 5⅓ innings, one walk, nine strikeouts. Maybe he’s finally figured things out.
Randy Rosario has made eight appearances covering seven innings so far this year for the Cubs. The results, frankly, haven’t been great: 6.43 ERA, 1.857 WHIP, five walks in those seven innings. Rosario was effective at times in the bullpen in 2018 with the Cubs, so he’ll undoubtedly be back later this summer if needed.
The Cubs have Mike Montgomery, Xavier Cedeno and Tony Barnette currently on rehab assignments and all three will likely be ready to return to the major leagues soon. All are on the 40-man roster so no 40-man move will be required to activate them when the time comes.