Everyone knew the Cubs would recall Adbert Alzolay to start Thursday’s game against the Reds, but the question was how they’d clear room on the roster. The answer is that they optioned Colin Rea, who was roughed up badly in his most recent appearance as the starter in a bullpen game against St. Louis, to the alternate site in South Bend.
The club also announced that Steven Souza Jr. has cleared waivers and was granted his release, not a great look for one of the two guaranteed contracts they offered last winter. But hey, Jeremy Jeffress is looking like one of their best free agent deals in the last few seasons, not that he’s got a lot of competition there.
In other moves, left-hander Matt Dermody also cleared waivers and was assigned outright to South Bend. Righty Joe Wieland, who compiled a 6.32 ERA in 12 appearances (10 starts) over parts of four seasons with four different organizations from 2012-16, has been added to the 60-man player pool and assigned to South Bend. Wieland spent two seasons in Japan’s Central and Eastern leagues before compiling a 4.75 ERA over 28 KBO starts in 2019.
Prior to joining the Cubs, he posted a 2-1 record with a 2.41 ERA for the Sugar Land Lightning Sloths of the independent Constellation Energy League. You can’t make this stuff up, folks. It’s really starting to feel like the Cubs are the fictional Indians from Major League, complete with a dude whose only skill is running fast and someone who can’t hit breaking balls. Except that latter someone is pretty much the whole team.
The Cubs had room on the roster for Wieland, who you can’t convince me is able to offer more help than any number of prospects in South Bend, because they let go of two players I didn’t even remember were in the player pool at all. Right-handed pitcher Juan Gamez and outfielder Ryan LaMarre have been granted their release and minor league infielder Pedro Martinez — who I actually have heard of — has been traded to the Rays as a player to be named from the club’s acquisition of José Martínez.
The 60-man player pool stands at 59, with 28 active players on the major league roster (plus three 10-day injured list players) and 28 players in South Bend.