A little over three months after being optioned to Triple-A Iowa to work on a few things, Keegan Thompson has been recalled by the Cubs. Meghan Montemurro of the Tribune was the first to report the move. The righty reliever broke camp with the big club and got off to a strong start, but underlying issues caught up with him in the first half of May. A 1.80 ERA over his first 10 outings masked the fact that Thompson had as many walks as strikeouts (12), and his .108 BABIP screamed that regression was coming.
Sure enough, he gave up seven earned runs over his next 6.1 innings on a .391 BABIP against, which prompted the Cubs to send him down. The initial results were disastrous, with Thompson posting a 12.96 ERA over 12 sporadic outings as he battled injury and ineffectiveness. Things have gotten better of late and he’s struck out eight with just one walk over 8.1 innings in four appearances.
With the Cubs desperate for bullpen help, particularly in the form of multi-inning guys, Thompson’s turnaround couldn’t have come at a better time. He’s proved he can handle big-league hitters, now it’s a matter of maintaining the confidence to get guys out without nibbling and falling behind in the count. One big issue with Thompson early in the season was the inability to put batters away with two strikes.
In order to make room on the roster, Michael Rucker was optioned to Triple-A. Now it will actually make sense that David Ross forgot he was available. Prior to his appearance in Wednesday’s game, Rucker hadn’t pitched for the Cubs since being recalled on August 15 and hadn’t pitched at all since four days before that.