Roster Roulette

Posted by Lionel on May 5, 2009.

When Bobby Scales was called up on Monday, it raised two questions. Why wasn't Jake Fox called up and what were the Cubs going to do about the fifth spot?

Jake Fox has done everything possible to earn a callup (.400 BA, 12 HR's, 1.411 OPS), but Lou didn't need another OF or pinch hitter. He needed a guy who could spell part of the vertically-challenged infield (Miles, The Riot, Fontenot) who were playing every day. Scales provided that with his start today. If the Cubs need an extra bat or if they have a slew of OF's go down, Fox will be the man.

As for the fifth spot, there was discussion that Jeff ND would get the spot, but Lou felt that the 'pen had started to get assimilated to their roles and didn't want to change that. While Jeff ND pitched a 6 inning game at Iowa on April 18th, that is the only time he went more than 4 innings since Spring Training, so he isn't necessarily stretched out.

So what are the Cubs 40 man starter options? Minor League Pitcher of the Year Mitch Atkins has an ERA of nearly 7 in 5 starts. Jose Ascanio has been starting, and pitching well (1.25 ERA, 1.02 WHIP), but has averaged only 4.2 innings per start. Marcos Mateo started the year in Daytona, and while he's been moved up to Tennessee, he's only averaging 3 innings per start (he has a 1.08 combined ERA). That leaves Randy Wells (the guy expected to be called up).

Wells is off to a 3-0 start with a 2.77 ERA. He has a 3 to 1 K/W ratio and has averaged 5.2 innings per start. Guys are hitting .204 off him. Righties are only hitting .172 against him, which is especially beneficial with the predominately right-handed lineup he'll face in Milwaukee on Friday.

With Wells promotion, it'll mean Bobby Scales MLB career will move from 0 games on an MLB roster to 4 games. Look for him to be recalled if the Cubs lose a player in their infield.

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