Usually, I’d wait until the roster moves are made official but it appears that we know who the Cubs’ September callups are as of this afternoon:
September call up news: The Cubs are promoting outfielder Alexander Canario, sources tell ESPN. Canario, 23, has recovered from some bad injuries and caught fire recently at Triple-A. He has an .866 OPS in 36 games this season at Iowa. He'll be making his MLB debut when he plays.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) August 31, 2023
Sources: The Cubs did not add a player today via waivers and plan to activate Shane Greene for Friday’s doubleheader in Cincinnati, as @JesseRogersESPN reported. Greene, a one-time All-Star closer, earned the September call-up after five shorter starts with Triple-A Iowa.— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) August 31, 2023
Rosters can expand by just two players in September, as opposed to previous rules that allowed up to the entire 40-man roster to be recalled. Of those two, only one can be a pitcher, so Shane Greene is that guy and Alexander Canario will be the position player.
Greene is 34 and was signed to a minor-league deal by the Cubs two months ago. He hasn’t started a MLB game since 2016, but he’s been in the Triple-A Iowa rotation since early August and has posted a 2.16 ERA and 1.260 WHIP, while striking out 20 in 16⅔ innings. He’s allowed runs in only one of those five starts and has maxed out at 64 pitches. It seems likely that the righthanded Greene will start Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader, and hopefully he can go five innings.
Canario, who came to the Cubs along with Caleb Kilian from the Giants in the Kris Bryant deal, suffered some horrifying injuries in winter ball (and don’t watch the video in that link if you’re squeamish).
He’s come back and hit well at Iowa, after some rehab stints in rookie ball and at South Bend. In 36 games for Iowa, Canario is batting .276/.342/.524 (40-for-145) with 12 doubles and eight home runs. He’s played mostly right field at Iowa but for the Cubs I’d expect him to get some DH time vs. lefthanded pitching.
The Cubs have two open spots on the 40-man roster so no additional roster moves will need to be made when these two are activated for Friday’s doubleheader.
Welcome to the Cubs, Shane and Alexander!