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Cubs roster move: Billy Hamilton added to active roster, Jose Martinez optioned

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The Martinez experiment is over. Let the Hamilton experiment begin!

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Monday, the Cubs claimed a former tormentor, Billy Hamilton, on waivers from the New York Mets.

Tuesday, they have added Hamilton to the active roster and optioned (who knew he still had options?) Jose Martinez to the team’s alternate site in South Bend.

Martinez, too, used to torment the Cubs when with the Cardinals, but his tenure as Cubs DH has been a failure so far. Martinez went 0-for-14 with one walk in six games as a Cub. If he never plays for the Cubs again, that’s the third-most plate appearances (15) without a hit in franchise history among position players, and you have to go back more than a century for the others, George Moriarty in 1903-04 (20 PA) and Clem Clemens in 1916 (16 PA). (There are a couple of pitchers on this list, but I’m concerned here only with position players.)

Hamilton, for his part, didn’t hit much with the Mets this year either (1-for-22), but he’s not here to hit. He’s here to play defense and serve as a pinch-runner. Since he was added to the active roster before September 15, he’s eligible for the postseason (September 15 is the deadline for 2020 only). Hamilton, who will wear uniform No. 6, has 302 career stolen bases in 372 attempts.

One thing he’ll be useful for — at least for the rest of the regular season — is in extra-inning games, where he could be inserted into the game as the placed runner at the start of extra innings. That system won’t be used in the postseason, though.

The Cubs’ 60-man Player Pool roster now stands at 59 players, with 28 active players on the major league roster (plus three 10-day injured list players) and 28 players in South Bend.

Today’s game preview will post at 5 p.m. CT.