The Cubs announced Friday that they have optioned Dillon Maples and Mark Zagunis to AAA Iowa, trimming the roster to 37 with less than two weeks to go until Opening Day. They also officially released Justin Grimm, but you already knew that.
Maples had been part of the discussion of who might replace Grimm on the roster, but this effectively removes him for the time being. He’ll get the opportunity to close and/or pitch more regularly in Iowa as he works on his control, which is a better position for him at this juncture in his career.
Zagunis is another player who will reap the benefits of regular playing time in AAA that he simply wouldn’t be able to get in Chicago. An on-base machine, the corner outfielder figures to put up solid numbers in Iowa and is a good candidate to get cups of coffee as needed when injuries come up.
And if we can circle back to that roster spot vacated by Grimm for just a moment, there’s a very unlikely candidate getting a little attention.