The Chicago Cubs today claimed right-handed pitcher Chandler Shepherd off waivers. Shepherd was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Friday.
Shepherd, 26, was taken in the 13th round out of Kentucky by the Red Sox in 2014 and he’s pitched in their system ever since. Before the 2016 season, Baseball America ranked Shepherd as the 23rd-best prospect in the Red Sox system, although he has not ranked among their top prospects the past three years. He’s pitched the past four seasons for their Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket. Although he pitched out of the pen for the early part of his professional career, Shepherd has been a starting pitcher the past two years, making 32 starts for Pawtucket.
Throughout his career, Shepherd had been known as a pitcher who threw strikes and got ground balls. However, this season both of those skills abandoned him. When the Red Sox designated him for assignment, he sported a line of 0-5 with a 10.01 ERA. He’d walked 16 and allowed 11 home runs over 29 2⁄3 innings. He had struck out 30 batters in seven starts and one relief appearance.
The Cubs are obviously hoping that Shepherd can reclaim the skills that allowed him to post a 3.89 ERA the year before for Pawtucket.
Shepherd has been assigned to the Cubs Double-A affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies. He will get a chance to get back on track against weaker hitters and away from the major league ball that has caused run scoring to skyrocket in Triple-A this year.
The Cubs 40-man roster is now full at 40 players.