With September comes the expansion of the active MLB roster from 25 to 40 men, which means all manner of reinforcements from the minors. The Cubs won’t be maxing that out, since they don’t much help and can’t fit that many more guys in the dugout at Wrigley, though they have made some moves.
Justin Grimm being activated from the DL and Victor Caratini being recalled were pretty much givens, but we learned Thursday afternoon that Dillon Maples and Mike Freeman were having their contracts selected. In order to clear room for them on the 40-man, right-handed pitchers Seth Frankoff and Jose Rosario have been designated for assignment.
Those are the corresponding moves I had expected, as neither pitcher factored into the Cubs’ long-term plans. The same could really be said for Freeman, a journeyman middle infielder who’s playing the role of defensive replacement and emergency backup to Javy Baez while Addison Russell remains out for the next three weeks or so.
Maples, though, could really be an impact arm in the bullpen. Equipped with a 100 mph fastball and a pair of nasty breaking pitches, he’s got the stuff to eventually hold down a high-leverage role with the Cubs. His journey over the last three months has been pretty remarkable and it’s even cooler when you learn more about what led up to it.