Late Season Help (Part I)

With the expansion of the rosters now less than 2 weeks away, I thought I would take a look at the guys who could be called up to add some depth to the Cubs. The first thing to note is that to be eligible to be called up, the player must be on the 40 man roster (or added to the 40 man roster). As it stands now, the Cubs have 38 guys active on the 40 man roster. That doesn't include Angel Guzman, who is on the 40 man roster, but doesn't count toward the limit because he's on the 60 day D.L. (which is the whole basis for the 60 day D.L.). Chad Fox is on the 15 day D.L., but with no return in sight, he may be transferred to the 60 day D.L. if the Cubs want to add another player.

In Part I, we'll look at the guys who definitely should and definitely shouldn't be heading to Chicago in September. Tomorrow, in Part II (of II), we'll review the guys on the fence and guys who could be added to the 40 man roster to be called up.

Pack Your Bag for Chicago and Try to Stay Healthy for the next 2 Weeks

Kevin Hart-For a long time, Hart was switching roles between Chicago and Iowa, starting for the I-Cubs and coming in in relief for the Cubs. But since the middle of July, Hart has pitched exclusively in relief. He hasn't faired well against major league competition, giving up 17 earned runs in less than 20 innings pitched (a 7.91 ERA), but has seen success since being used as a reliever at Iowa. There, he's posted a 2.31 ERA and 3 saves in 10 relief appearances. If nothing else, Lou should want to see if he can recreate the magic he had last September when he posted a 0.82 ERA and was on the Cubs post-season roster.

Jon Lieber-Lieber has been rehabbing, making a start for the rookie ball club and a start for the Peoria Chiefs. If I am reading my MLB rules correctly, the rookie ball doesn't count as a rehab start, and therefore, he made his first official rehab start on August 5th. Why is this important? Because, the rules state that a pitcher may only rehab for 30 days before he must be recalled or released. In this case, the August 5th date is perfect because it means the Cubs can remove Lieber from the D.L. come September without having to worry about moving someone down and without having to release him. How much he pitches is to be seen, but he should be on the roster, given that they seemed to perfectly start his rehab after August 1.

Michael Wuertz-Wuertz kind of became a forgotton man after being demoted in July. Unfortunately, he didn't forget that he was demoted. Despite a 3.55 ERA for the Cubs, Wuertz has a 4.30 ERA for Iowa over 14 and 2/3 innings. He has managed to record 24 of 44 outs he's recorded via the K, and he's held righties to a .172 average. Of all the relievers the Cubs have in the minors, you have to figure that Wuertz is the first man they'll recall, based on his relative success in Chicago.

Micah Hoffpauir-There's really no need to even comment here. Scroll through almost any portion of our website if you are confused. If he isn't on the team, I'm heading to Vegas to throw all my money down on Iowa winning the PCL crown (unless the Cubs don't bring up any of the Iowa relievers).

Good Luck finishing out your minor league season, if you get to play

Adam Harben-The average Cubs fan is probably saying Adam Who? Then again, the average Cubs fan probably doesn't read a post about September Call-ups. Adam Harben was acquired by the Cubs from the Rangers in the trade that sent Phil Nevin to Texas. Harben underwent Tommy John surgery in late 2006 and is in his first full season back from the surgery. Harben has a 5.37 ERA this year for Daytona between starting and relieving. He is currently on the D.L., making him unavailable even if the Cubs wanted to use him, unless he returns from injury. A guy who didn't pitch well for Daytona isn't going to pitch well for Chicago.

Rich Hill-It's almost unfathomable to be mentioning Hill in this article, let alone putting him on the Good Luck list. But in all actuality, he may not even be in the playoffs for Daytona (currently tied for 1st place), as he was put on the D.L. earlier this month. Hill last pitched on July 30th, and based on his performance and injuries, it may be time for the Cubs to have him hang up the spikes for the year and come back next year with a clear head and fresh arm.

Billy Petrick-It's hard not to remember Petrick from last year, given that he is generously reported to weigh 240 lbs. He pitched in 8 games for the Cubs, struggling to a 7.45 ERA. Petrick had started the season in Arizona and then went to Daytona, where he ended up on the D.L. after only 8 outings. Since then, he has been placed on the Cubs suspended list, but no official word has come down as to why he was placed on that list and anything I would guess on here would be pure speculation (not that this entire article isn't pure speculation). In any case, if he pitches again this season, it isn't going to be in Chicago.
Sam Fuld-So Fuld is the only man on the 40 man roster who is currently playing, but isn't likely to head to Chicago. He is hitting a mere .254 at Tennessee, but has a respectable .355 OBP. The only way I see him heading to the North Side is if the Cubs don't call up Pie and decide they need a defensive OF. Given that they can always use Hoffpauir and Fox in the OF, I don't see Fuld being called up. With the Smokies in last place in the second half after a last place finish in the1st half, Fuld's season probably has a few weeks left.

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