With the bullpen overworked, the Cubs made several moves to bolster the pen before Monday’s game.
They recalled right-handed pitcher Jeremiah Estrada from Triple-A Iowa and placed right-handed pitcher Brad Boxberger on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to May 14) with a right forearm strain. In addition, the club selected right-handed pitcher Nick Burdi from Iowa, optioned right-handed pitcher Hayden Wesneski to Iowa. To make room for Burdi on the 40-man roster, the Cubs moved right-handed pitcher Adrian Sampson to the 60-day injured list.
Estrada has made three appearances for the Cubs this year covering four innings. He’s allowed two hits, three walks and no runs, striking out six. At Iowa this year, Estrada has a 0.96 ERA and 1.071 WHIP in eight outings covering 9⅓ innings, with 12 strikeouts.
At some point the Cubs are going to have to make a call about Estrada due to MLB’s limit of five options per season without exposing a player to waivers. Estrada isn’t there yet, but as the only really optionable reliever on the 40-man roster, it could come up at some point this year.
The addition of Estrada, as an optionable player, likely makes him the corresponding move whenever Kyle Hendricks is activated, probably this weekend in Philadelphia.
As always, we await developments. The game preview posts in just a few minutes at 5 p.m. CT.