Cubs recall two relievers from Triple-A

cubs recall two relievers from triple-a

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Hayden Wesneski.

The Cubs announced a series of roster moves to add some fresh arms to the bullpen after their recent pair of extra-inning games taxed the relief corps.

Right-handers Hayden Wesneski and Colten Brewer are up from Triple-A Iowa — the latter of whom had his contract selected to the 40-man roster.

Chicago optioned righty Daniel Palencia and lefty Luke Little to open a pair of spots on the active roster. Right-hander Julian Merryweather, already shelved with a stress fracture in his rib cage, was transferred from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL to open a spot for Brewer on the 40-man roster. He’s been on the IL since April 6, meaning he’ll now be out until at least June 6.

The Cubs will be the fourth big-league club for Brewer, 31. The right-hander tossed 8 1/3 innings with the Yankees in 2023 and has previously spent time with the Padres and Red Sox.

He’s logged a combined 99 1/3 innings across parts of five MLB campaigns, pitching to a 4.98 ERA with a 19.7 percent strikeout rate, 13.1 percent walk rate and 51.3 percent grounder rate.

Brewer also spent time with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball last year, hurling 11 1/3 innings while allowing three runs on six hits and six walks (one intentional) with 14 strikeouts.

Brewer signed with Chicago on a minor league pact over the winter and had a strong spring training (seven innings, one run, eight strikeouts, no walks). He’s posted quite similar numbers in Des Moines so far: 7 2/3 innings pitched, three hits, one earned run, two walks and nine strikeouts. The 6-foot-4 righty is no stranger to pitching in a long-relief role and could give the Cubs multiple innings if needed.

A protracted absence for Merryweather stings for the Cubs. The 32-year-old joined the organization as a waiver claim out of Toronto in January 2023 and quickly became one of their most important relievers.

Since Opening Day 2023, Merryweather touts a 3.29 ERA (3.46 FIP, 3.41 SIERA) with a huge 32.1 percent strikeout rate. His 11.7 percent walk rate could rather obviously stand to improve, but Merryweather has done a nice job keeping the ball in the yard and frequently overpowering opponents with a heater that’s averaged 98.1 mph as a Cub.

Among the 244 big-league pitchers to toss at least 70 innings since Opening Day 2023, Merryweather’s 15.4 percent swinging strike rate ranks 11th, placing him right between Mariners setup stud Matt Brash and reigning NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell.

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