Another day, another flurry of roster moves made by the Chicago Cubs. This time, there are some very notable names involved in the decisions.
Let’s break these moves down into detailed thoughts:
Cubs Select LHP Adam Morgan
The Cubs have selected LHP Adam Morgan from Triple-A Iowa. Morgan last pitched in the majors during the 2020 season for the Philadelphia Phillies. Morgan debuted in 2015 with the Phillies and was both a starter and reliever over the course of his career in Philadelphia. In his six-season MLB career, Morgan is 13-27 with a 4.84 ERA, 302 strikeouts, and 41 holds in 344.1 innings. Morgan has started 36 games, but appeared in 199 games.
In 2021 with the Iowa Cubs, the former Philly is 0-1 with a 2.20 ERA, 21 strikeouts, and only three walks. He also has a hold in his 16.1 innings of work in 15 games.
Morgan presents another left-handed arm for the bullpen, and a fresh arm for the Cubs to tryout as the season rolls along. Morgan was able to be added to the roster thanks to the next move.
A Pair of IL Stints
As mentioned, the Cubs had to create a spot for Morgan without sending down an arm. In order to free up a spot on the roster, the Cubs placed INF Matt Duffy on the 60-day IL. This frees up a spot on the 40-man roster. He was originally on the 10-day IL before today’s move. Despite as bad as it sounds, Duffy can be activated near the end of July since the move is retroactive to when he was originally sent to the Injured List.
The Cubs sorely miss Duffy, as he was playing strong defense at third base and swinging a good bat. In 38 games this season, the 30-year-old is slashing .278/.377/.356 with one home run and 12 RBI’s. Although the power numbers don’t jump off the page, he scored 16 runs in those 38 games, showing an ability to get on base and score runs. Duffy’s skillset is something the Cubs desperately miss and need more of.
In addition to moving Duffy to the 60-day IL, the Cubs also placed RHP Ryan Tepera on the 10-day IL with a left calf strain. It begs the question, has he been trying to play through it and that’s a result of his recent struggles? There has been plenty of speculation that Tepera was a “sticky stuff” user, but there is no concrete proof to that statement. Hopefully his struggles can be attributed to the injury and not the speculation surrounding the 2020 NL MVP vote-getter.
With his recent struggles, Tepera’s ERA has ballooned to 3.35, and he is now 0-2 after Monday night’s brutal 8th inning. That said, he has 15 holds, 41 strikeouts, and only 12 walks in 37.2 innings in 2021.
A Quick Iowa Swap
On Monday, the Cubs recalled RHP Trevor Megill from Triple-A Iowa and sent down RHP Tommy Nance. While some believe Nance was possibly sent down due to recent struggles (7.56 ERA in his last six appearances), it could be the Cubs just wanted a fresh arm in the pen on Monday after Nance pitched three innings against the Dodgers on Sunday.
Nonetheless, Megill and Nance’s respective stays were short-lived. The Cubs recalled the former Independent League pitcher and sent Megill back after a brutal 8th inning on Monday as well. Megill failed to record an out against the Brewers and gave up four hits, two walks, and six earned runs. It’s safe to say the Cubs have seen enough of Megill for now.
The Cubs return to action on Tuesday night against the Brewers in Milwaukee. Game two of the series sees RHP Zach Davies square-off with RHP Brandon Woodruff. The Cubs desperately need a win in the 7:10 PM CDT contest to salvage any hope of winning the series on Wednesday against RHP Corbin Burnes.