In this edition of Cubs Corner, we’ll take a look at the latest going on with all things Cubs. Spring Training has kicked off, but the Cubs are still adding players – some of them old Cubs coming back for another round while others are completely new faces.
Cubs Corner: Roster Moves
Over the last couple of days, the Cubs have made a series of roster moves, including officially signing former Cubs starter, Jake Arrieta. After passing his physical, Arrieta was officially signed as a member of the 2021 roster on Wednesday (2/17/2021).
Other moves included:
|02/18/21||Chicago Cubs signed free agent P Brandon Workman.|
|02/18/21||Chicago Cubs designated SS Sergio Alcantara for assignment.|
|02/17/21||Chicago Cubs placed P Kyle Ryan on the 10 day disabled list.|
|02/17/21||Chicago Cubs signed free agent P Jake Arrieta.|
In addition to the Arrieta signing, the Cubs also signed former Phillies/Red Sox closer, Brandon Workman (RHP). This is an interesting move, as Craig Kimbrel sits in limbo, waiting to see what kind of season 2021 may bring him.
Could Workman act as a setup man or as an alternate closer? Absolutely. The waters become a little more cloudy, however, now that Tom Ricketts says he thinks the Cubs can win the division. They can’t do it with a subpar closer – assuming Kimbrel underperforms – so Workman could be a surprise addition to the ninth inning lineup.
Kimbrel struggled heavily in 2019 and for the first part of 2020, but rebounded to have a decent (2020) season, despite some very ugly stats. After battling his way back from a horrific start, Kimbrel settled for a 5.28 ERA (18 appearances) and a total of just two saves. While that sounds horrific – especially for Dirty Craig – his work in the second half served to offset numbers so bad that they were nearly indescribable.
Cubs President of Baseball Ops, Jed Hoyer, has recently voiced concern over the Cubs pitching situation.
Cubs Corner: The Return of Stropy
After leaving the Cubs as a free agent on October 31, 2019, tilted-cap wearing Pedro Strop latched onto a one-year deal with the Reds for 2020. Strop posted a subpar number with Chicago in 2019, including a record of 2-5 and an ERA of 4.97 in 50 appearances.
Strop wanted to stay in Chicago, but the Cubs front office wasn’t having it. After signing with the Reds on February 5, 2020, Strop only appeared in four games (2.1 innings pitched), while pitching to an ERA of 3.86 for Cincinnati. The Reds would then release Strop on August 31, 2020.
The Cubs elected to give Strop another shot at a minor league deal last season, re-signing him on September 5th of 2020. With the MiLB season canceled due to COVID-19, Strop was again granted free agency by the Cubs on November 2, 2020. Well, here we go again…
Strop has once again signed a MiLB deal with Chicago, this one including an invite to Spring Training.
Can Strop, now entering his age 36 season, be a productive member of Chicago’s bullpen once again? Many have their doubts, but Strop seems confident. Command became a definite issue in 2019, but with the drive to have what may be a final shot at his Major League career, Strop’s determination probably shouldn’t be questioned.
The determination may help, but it’s ultimately his command and control that will make the decision for David Ross and the Cubs’ front office. Strop had several productive years with the Cubs, posting a (Cubs) career ERA of just 2.90 over a total of 411 appearances. While Strop received a lot of no-decisions, his record over his seven-season tenure with Chicago stands at 21-24.
Cubs Corner: Cubs Birthdays
Celebrating yesterday, were the following ex-Cubs:
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main image credit Embed from Getty Images