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Cubs roster moves: Nick Madrigal activated from IL, Michael Rucker, Anderson Espinoza recalled

Here are the guys replacing those who were traded away Monday and Tuesday.

Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The Cubs traded away three players since they last played Sunday in San Francisco:

Scott Effross
David Robertson
Mychal Givens

Today, the team reinstated infielder Nick Madrigal from the 10-day injured list and recalled right-handed pitchers Michael Rucker and Anderson Espinoza from Triple-A Iowa. Additionally, left-handed pitcher Steven Brault has been placed on the COVID-19 related injured list.

By my count, that leaves the Cubs unbalanced on the 26-man roster — they’ve got 12 pitchers active with those moves, and 14 position players. They’re supposed to have 13 of each, per the new CBA. Perhaps they were permitted this for one day’s time given all the trades.

That gives the Cubs some extra relief help, considering that three mainstays of the bullpen have been traded over the last 48 hours. Madrigal last played Sunday for Iowa, and here’s hoping he is healthy and can play well over the last two months. He’s had a rough year.

Rucker and Espinoza are likely in two-month auditions for the 2023 bullpen.

In one more move made late Tuesday, the Cubs claimed right-handed pitcher Kervin Castro off waivers from the San Francisco Giants and optioned him to Iowa. Castro was designated for assignment by the Giants Monday. Castro is 23 and has appeared in 12 games for the Giants in 2021 and 2022, with a 3.00 ERA and 1.533 WHIP, and 17 strikeouts in 15 innings.

As always, we await developments.