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Cubs Roster Moves: Brault Selected, Leiter Jr. Optioned, and More

The Cubs made several roster moves before Saturday’s doubleheader, including selecting LHP Steven Brault from Triple-A.

Steven Brault Chicago Cubs
Photo: Pirates/Twitter

According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the Chicago Cubs made a few roster moves before Saturday’s double header against the New York Mets. Let’s take a look at them.

Brault Selected from Triple-A Iowa

Steven Brault was signed by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason after ending last year on the 60-day IL with a left lat strain. Suffering a triceps injury during Spring Training, the left-handed pitcher has spent most of this year rehabbing, but after making four minor league rehab appearances, the Cubs have selected Brault from Triple-A Iowa.   

For his career, Brault has pitched innings as both a starter and a reliever. In 107 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he’s made 52 starts with a 4.77 ERA and has 291 strikeouts in 343.1 innings pitched.

It’s uncertain whether Brault will be put into the rotation or be used as a bullpen guy, but don’t be surprised to see him play both roles with the Cubs. On the plus side, if Brault can show signs of success throughout the second half of the season, the Cubs will be able to re-sign him next offseason for relatively cheap through arbitration.

Leiter Jr. Optioned, Swarmer DFA’d

With the Brault promotion, the Cubs have optioned right-handed pitcher Mark Leiter Jr. to Triple-A Iowa. In 14 games with the Cubs this year the righty has pitched to the tune of a 5.35 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched and made four starts.

The Cubs also designated right-handed pitcher Matt Swarmer for assignment on Saturday. In 34 innings with the Cubs, Swarmer had a 5.03 ERA with 36 strikeouts, 20 walks, and made five starts.

Espinoza Recalled

The Cubs also recalled right-handed pitcher Anderson Espinoza on Saturday. With yesterday’s game being postponed until today, both the Mets and Cubs are allowed a 27th roster spot for today’s doubleheader. In two games with the Cubs this year, Espinoza has thrown 7.0 innings with a 3.86 ERA and has eight strikeouts and seven walks.

The Cubs continue their series with the Mets with a doubleheader today, and then finish off the first half of the season tomorrow with an early afternoon contest before heading into the All-Star break.   

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