On the eve of the September call-ups, the Chicago Cubs announced that four players would join the team straight away on September 1. They include infielder Javier Baez, outfielder Quintin Berry, and pitchers Tsuyoshi Wada and Trevor Cahill.
Baez is the most intriguing name. After hitting .169/.227/.324 with the Cubs in 2014, and sending warning lights into the stratosphere, Baez has put up exceptional numbers in Triple-A: .324/.385/.527. Since returning from injury on July 23, Baez is hitting .340 and his strikeout percentage is 21% –it was 30% in Triple-A last season, and a cataclysmic 41% in the majors. Baez has continued to be electric in the field. It’s easy to forget how recently Baez was deemed the Cubs top prospect, and that he has the potential to be a major contributor down the stretch (and well into the future) if he can fix a hole or two in his at-bats. His numbers suggest he might be on his way.
Berry and Cahill are recent acquisitions for this very purpose –stretch run depth. Berry has limited major league experience, but does have 351 career steals across 10 seasons in the minors, which seems to be the primary reason the Cubs brought him on board.
Cahill, who appeared to be headed for long term relevancy back in 2010-12 with the Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks, has struggled in recent years, but has looked strong in his 7.2 innings with the Iowa Cubs’ bullpen since being signed after his opt-out with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In this small sample size, he has not surrendered a run.
Cubs fans are familiar with Wada, who was the team’s fifth starter across part of the season. While he put up decent numbers for the Cubs as a starter, since July 21 in Triple-A, he’s pitched to a 5.36 ERA. In what capacity Wada will be used remains to be seen. He could just be another arm in army of them out of the bullpen, but with lacking performances from both Kyle Hendricks and Dan Haren, the backend of the Cubs’ rotation is looking for help.
The Cubs will add more players as we move further into September.