The Chicago Cubs were very busy on Tuesday afternoon, making a plethora of roster moves. Included in said moves are a pair of IL stints, a return from the IL, a call up, and a contract opt-out.
Injury Bug Strikes Again
The first two moves made on Tuesday included placing both INF Eric Sogard and RHP Kohl Stewart on the IL. Both players are heading to the injured list due to a left thumb contusion and right elbow inflammation, respectively.
Ironically, both players pitched in Monday’s brutal 13-3 loss to the Phillies. Stewart gave up three runs in his lone inning of duty, as did Sogard. Sogard has appeared in five games as a relief pitcher this season, and three times on the Cubs’ current 10-game losing streak.
Stewart has not pitched much with the Cubs this season, only appearing in four games thus far. In those four games, three of which were starts, Stewart has pitched to a 1-1 record, 5.27 ERA, 11 strikeouts, and six walks in 13.2 innings. The former top five pick has struggled in 2021 to find his place with the Cubs.
As for Sogard, the infielder has played in 73 games for the Cubs, slashing .250/.287/.313 with one home run and 11 RBI’s. Despite the lack luster performances from the 35-year-old, he continues to make regular appearances for the Cubs. In fact, his most useful role this season has been as a pinch-hitter off the bench, but he continues to get regular starts as someone manager David Ross seems to trust.
Trevor Williams Activated
RHP Trevor Williams was activated from the 10-day IL on Tuesday after appendix surgery. Williams has provided moments of brilliance this season, but has failed to make a massive impact on the Cubs’ record. In 10 starts this season before the injury, Williams has a 3-2 record, 5.36 ERA, 49 strikeouts, and 20 walks in 43.2 innings. Williams has shown the ability to be nasty on the mound, but has yet to put together consistent performances as a starting pitcher.
With Alec Mills strong run as a starter since being inserted into the rotation, there may not be a place for Williams. It’ll be intriguing to see how Williams is used going forward. Will he be a starter again, or will be find a role within the bullpen as a multi-inning guy? Only time will tell.
Sergio Alcantara Returns
After a hot start with the Cubs during his first stint, Sergio Alcantara returns after only a few days down in Triple-A Iowa. In 30 games this season, the 24-year-old is slashing .179/.282/.403 with two home runs and four RBI’s. In addition, Alcantara has been an extra-base hit machine, recording three doubles and three triples.
Alcantara was off to a scorching start when he was originally recalled. However, he cooled off heavily as time went on and MLB teams adjusted to him. His cool down ultimately led to he and Nico Hoerner changing places over the weekend.
Dee Strange-Gordon Becomes a Free Agent
Dee Strange-Gordon signed with the Cubs on May 29, 2021 and was immediately assigned to Triple-A Iowa. However, after just over a month within the organization, the former big leaguer elected to free agency.
In 23 games this season, Strange-Gordon slashed .233/.270/.310 with a lone home run, nine RBI’s, and six doubles. Strange-Gordon clearly didn’t see a path back to the big leagues with the Cubs, so he will test the market to find the right situation.
The Cubs host the Phillies on Tuesday for their second of four games this week. The Cubs look to avenge an embarrassing loss to Philadelphia on Monday with Jake Arrieta taking the mound Tuesday against Aaron Nola.