Teams playing doubleheaders are permitted a 27th man, who can play in both games, in order to help out (generally) an overworked bullpen. Most times, it’s an extra pitcher who is added to the roster.
That’s the case for the Cubs today as they have recalled Anderson Espinoza from Triple-A Iowa. Here are some other moves the Cubs made this morning:
Cubs moves:— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 16, 2022
• LHP Steven Brault selected from AAA Iowa
• RHP Mark Leiter Jr. optioned to AAA Iowa
• RHP Matt Swarmer designated for assignment
• RHP Anderson Espinoza recalled as 27th man for today’s doubleheader
Steven Brault was signed earlier this year but was injured. He's made three appearances at Triple-A Iowa without allowing a run.
Espinoza has made two appearances for the Cubs this year covering seven innings. He’s allowed three hits (including two home runs), walked seven and struck out eight. This two-pitch selection would seem to be ideal for a multi-inning reliever:
Espinoza, who was acquired from the Padres in the Jake Marisnick deal last year, was once a Top 100 prospect with San Diego — before two Tommy John surgeries. He has talent and sometimes it takes a while for pitchers who have TJS to recover their previous form. I like Espinoza and I think he could be an important part of the Cubs pen going forward. He hasn’t pitched since last Sunday in Los Angeles, so should be available, possibly for both games against the Mets today.