The Cubs made another flurry of roster moves Tuesday, the most significant of which was activating Trevor Williams from the 10-day IL following a layoff due to an appendectomy. He’ll be operating out of the bullpen for now, though that could change based on the results of Jake Arrieta‘s start against the Phillies.
David Ross said the All-Star break would give the team a chance to reassess, but looming moves as the team falls further from contention could also create needs. A relief role makes sense for Williams at the time being because fellow reliever Eric Sogard has been overused lately to the point of suffering a thumb contusion that has landed him on the 10-day IL.
Okay, you’re right, Sogard is actually an infielder. Shelving him feels as much like a way for the team to keep a veteran on the roster, something we’ve seen with Daniel Descalso and others in the past. With Nico Hoerner back up and David Bote presumably ready for a rehab assignment soon, there really isn’t a spot for Sogard. And with other relievers coming back before long, the Cubs can’t stash the bespectacled mop-up reliever in the ‘pen.
Sergio Alcántara was the real replacement for Sogard, with righty Kohl Stewart hitting the IL due to right elbow inflammation that coincides with him allowing three runs on a homer and a walk Monday night. This all feels like musical chairs, the kind being played while the dance band on the Titanic provides the accompanying songs.
In other Cubs roster news, Jeff Passan reports that infielder Dee Strange-Gordon has opted out of his minor league deal in order to catch on elsewhere. He was hitting .259 with a .660 OPS and two homers in 158 Triple-A at-bats, but had just a .233 average and .581 OPS over 116 ABs for the Iowa Cubs. Even so, you have to imagine he’d be able to come close to the -0.2 fWAR Sogard has produced thus far.