The Cubs made a roster move heading into Sunday’s rubber match with the Brewers by adding 41-year old relief pitcher Joe Nathan to the squad. He had been in the minors rehabbing after his 2nd Tommy John surgery, but he in now heading to the Cubs. He has shown flashes in the minors of being able to add some experience and quality to this young, and often struggling, bullpen, and this is exactly the type of move we have come to expect from Theo and co. It is a low-risk, medium reward move, just like Fernando Rodney and Raphael Soriano last season (in which the Cubs went 1-2).
The corresponding move, one that makes a lot of sense, was to option the struggling Adam Warren back to Iowa. Warren, who is 3-2 with a 5.91 ERA in 35 innings this season, has been down right awful lately, and it makes sense to have him go back to Iowa. His ERA in his last 7 games (12.2 innings) has been 9.24, he has struck out 10 and walked 6 in that time as well. It could do him a lot of good to go down to Iowa, get some work in, and maybe build up some confidence. This move also makes sense, simply because the Cubs don’t lose anyone. The other option would be to DFA a struggling Clayton Richard (who hasn’t been much worse than Warren), and likely lose him to some other team. As badly as Cubs fans want Richard gone, this is the move that makes sense.
Don’t expect Joe Nathan to come out and become the lock-down closer that he was a few years ago, but let’s home he can sure up the struggling middle of the pen.
The Cubs take on the Brewers today in the rubber match at 1:10 on ABC 7. The lineup is Tommy La Stella 2b, Kris Bryant 3b, Anthony Rizzo 1b, Ben Zobrist RF, Willson Contreras LF, Jason Heyward CF, Addison Russell SS, David Ross C, Jon Lester P.
Keep your eye out for any other Cubs moves today, as they are rumored to be in on Aroldis Chapman as well. I, personally, don’t want to make that move, but “In Theo We Trust”.