The Cubs designated lefty Conner Menez for assignment Saturday in order to make room on the 40-man roster for Caleb Kilian, and now Menez has been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa after clearing waivers. The 27-year-old made one appearance in Chicago, pitching one inning with a strikeout, a hit, a hit batter, and no walks. That was back on May 13 and he has only made one subsequent appearance for Iowa.
In 17.1 total innings at Triple-A this year, Menez holds a 2.08 ERA with 20 strikeouts and eight walks and no home runs allowed. That’s significantly better production than he’s had over 484 total minor league innings, particularly considering his propensity for walks and homers. The Cubs and other teams probably thought it was something of a small-sample mirage, hence the DFA and subsequent lack of waiver claims.
If, however, Menez manages to keep up the newfound success, he could be in play for a bullpen role after the trade deadline clears some roster spots.