Report: Cubs to Designate Michael Bowden for Assignment

According to a report from Bruce Miles following Sunday’s loss to the Mets, the Cubs will designate Michael Bowden for assignment on Tuesday to make room on the active roster for Matt Garza.

Matt Garza is set to come off the DL to make his first start since July 21 of last year when the Cubs open a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. The Cubs sent Carlos Villanueva to the bullpen on Saturday when they announced Garza would return on Tuesday which meant a reliever was on the way out.

The decision appeared to be down to Michael Bowden or Shawn Camp and the front office has apparently chosen to try to send Bowden back through waivers.

Michael Bowden has pitched well at times this season. In 14 appearances, Bowden is 1-2 with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. In 16 2/3 innings, Bowden has surrendered 14 hits, walked five batters while striking out seven. Bowden will likely be claimed this time around as he has shown improvement and would likely be an upgrade for many teams as the seventh or eighth arm in their pen.

Shawn Camp on the other hand has not pitched well at all. Camp has not received the bad publicity that Carlos Marmol has but in many ways has pitched worse than Marmol this year. In 19 games, Camp has allowed 13 runs on 23 hits with six walks and 12 strikeouts in just 16 innings (7.31 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP) … plus two balks, and one gave the Giants a game back in April. With all of the stories coming out in recent days about Camp’s workload a year ago, it appeared Camp was on his way to the disabled list to make room for Matt Garza.

The Cubs re-signed Shawn Camp to a one-year, $1.35 million contract in the off-season that includes a $200,000 performance based incentives package.

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  • Ray Ray

    You really think a team will claim him?

    • calicub

      Hey the blue Jays have half a AAA team of worse claims than him

    • BosephHeyden

      Yes. The Braves need a ton of bullpen help, and they could do a whole lot worse than a pitcher with a high 3 ERA.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes, I do. As mentioned below the Blue Jays, Braves and Tigers are the first three teams that come to mind.

    • SomeGuy27

      He’ll get claimed. I think about a week ago I posted some of his number which show he has preformed above league average since last year’s all-star break. I really would have thought someone would have come up with an “injury” before this. Bowden’s also one of those guys who I really believe had his development screwed up by the Red Sox. He went through the “he’s a starter, no! he’s a closer, STARTER!, RELIEVER!, CLOSER!, SWINGMAN!, STARter…Oh? what? he’s out of options so now we have to release him?” career track before the Cubs got him. He’s far from perfect but I think he’s one of those guys who just needs to be left alone.

  • calicub

    awful awful move.

    • Ray Ray

      I wouldn’t go that far. I would have dfa’d Camp but Bowden is not a big loss if claimed.

      • calicub

        Should have been Ol’ Rubber arm. Bowden’s stuff wasn’t great, but he was getting batters out. Plus he’s only 26

      • BosephHeyden

        He’s not a big loss, but he’s a loss that shouldn’t occur yet. Camp is the worst guy in the pen, and there’s a very, very good chance he will not get better. Plus, as calicub mentioned, he’s 26. He’s already improved upon last year, and he may keep getting better. Camp’s time has passed.

        • Ray Ray

          As I said. I agree I would have DFA’d Camp first as well.

  • Ray Ray

    If they need another bullpen arm down the road Blake Parker is doing pretty well in AAA. 14.1 IP with 21K’s and a low WHIP.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      If you have a chance, try to listen or watch some of the I-Cubs games. While Parker’s line might look okay, he really struggles throwing strikes.

      • Ray Ray

        Haven’t got a chance to see him pitch but you are right 9 walks is a lot for 14.2 but those 21K’s are impressive.

  • Ripsnorter1

    He’s gone.

    Dumb move.

    • Ray Ray

      It’s, Heeeeeee Gone

      • Ripsnorter1

        LOL.

        White Sox might pick him up as well.

    • Tony_Hall

      I don’t believe you have ever been a Bowden fan, especially since he was brought in by Theo.

      You said this: “Bowden showed us why he isn’t a starter or closer: CONTROL. He’s somewhat like Scott Maine. Maine has stuff, but he cannot control it.”

      Now you are upset about losing him?

      I for one don’t like it, and would rather have seen Camp go on the DL for a hangnail if need be.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Tony,

        As always, you are right. Bowden does have control problems, and they will be exposed as he is exposed to more ML batters. I checked his stats and they all were against the bottom of the order of the Pirates, Miami, and the crummy SD Padres. He did get a few innings against SF and Cin, but hey, Dusty managed both teams and they are still suffering the after-effects of the experience. Bowden was also helped by an earthquake in Somolia in his last appearance. And just last week, a goat’s head was found in his locker!

        • Tony_Hall

          So, you don’t like Bowden, but dis-like anything Theo and Jed do more?

          Yet, they will be trading Bowden and getting something back with at least 3 teams likely to be bidding for his services, all with an immediate need for a bullpen arm.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I am just saying that Bowden is better than Camp, has more potential, and is more likely a help to the team than Ian Stewart, er, I mean, Shawn Camp.

          • Tony_Hall

            Please read my newest posts. They are going to trade him in the next 10 days, as that is why you designate a player for assignment versus just releasing a player. Trade him while he has good numbers, since he will likely be coming back to earth soon.

          • Ray Ray

            So this is about maximizing Bowden in a trade? C’mon. Teams are lining up now in a bidding war to aquire Michael Bowden? I wouldn’t be surprised if no one claims him.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not at all. They need a roster spot. No one would claim or trade for camp right now. Bowden has pitched about as well as he can. This buys them 10 days to trade Bowden for a player who doesn’t need to be added to the 40 man roster. It isn’t about a bidding war, it is about the best opportunity to clear a 40 man spot and get something back.

          • Ray Ray

            we will see if anyone claims him. Like I have been saying. Not a big loss at all. I can’t believe all the conversation on Bowden. I agree that Camp should have been cut but Bowden is not much.

        • Tony_Hall

          Nice update to make it seem like you knew about the DFA rules…

    • Denver Mike

      Smeh….I’m not about to wring hands over the last two guys in our bullpen. “Poor roster management” if Disqus allowed signatures you could make that yours and it would save you from typing it every single post. Camp/Bowden … who cares? Really? Just like Marshall was going to bring us a World Series. Bowden who? I’m already past it.

      • willie smith

        so poor roster management is OK?
        it’s the little moves that can make a big difference………
        why would a rebuilding team with zero chance to make the playoffs keep a 37 yr old reliever over a 26 yr old?…..makes NO sense.
        it’s not that Bowden is great; it’s the point of this is jed’s thought process.maybe Bowden gets thru waivers, but just like m gonzalez, colvin, lamaheiu, Bowden now, signing a hurt baker, bringing stewart back a 2nd time, trading for a hurt Vizcaino who has yet to pitch this year………….it’s a trend. so when the team is good; we hope; in 2016 all these “bad little moves” will end?
        I thought theo and his boys were boy wonders…….not blunders.

        • Ripsnorter1

          The truth was never spoken more beautifully than in this post.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not really, he doesn’t know all the facts and you could make a list of players like he did for every team. Even complaining about Vizcaino, but yet has no clue that Delgado has had a bad start to the year.

            Why everyone worries about the bottom of the roster, yet then always nitpicks our core guys like Castro and Rizzo. It just makes no sense how the Bowden’s, Colvins, Gonzalezs, etc are such great losses, yet we worry about our 22 year old SS, who is in select company for hitting for someone so young.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You don’t see me nit-picking Castro.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Les Lancaster.

    • 07GreyDigger

      Holy crap. I actually agree with you.

    • Rational Logic

      Perhaps Bowden is pitching above expectations while Camp is pitching below? Not saying I believe that, but it’s certainly possible given what Camp was able to do last year with the Cubs. I still agree that Camp should have been DFA’d, but maybe he’ll improve over the course of the season.

  • Ray Ray

    Remember Mike Olt? He is hitting .139 in AAA with 32 K’s in 72 AB’s. The majority of prospects are suspects.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I’m curious to see how he performs after he gets his eye problem taken care of

      http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/post/_/id/4898897/mike-olt-forced-to-dl-with-vision-issues

      • Ray Ray

        Neil. Have you seen what former Cub Neil Cotts is doing on the same AAA team as Olt? Take a look at these numbers.

        0.78 ERA 23IP 42K’s and only 5BB

        • Tony_Hall

          AGE 33…..last pitched in the majors in 2009. Should be getting another opportunity soon with those numbers.

          http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/cottsne01.shtml

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          I had not seen that about Cotts. Those are very good numbers. He should get another shot in the majors soon.

    • Ray Ray

      just did some research on him and he has been having vision problems. You beat me to it Neil. They haven’t found anything wrong but are thinking it could have been from the concussion he suffered.

  • Ripken Boy

    Horrible move. Camp is awful and old. Bowden was pitching well and is still young. If team is rebuilding with young players, then the move would of been to keep Bowden and DFA Camp.

    Starting to think Hoyer/Epstein are just another version of McFail and Lynch.

  • paulcatanese

    Not my place to know what goes on behind closed doors, but as a fan I would have liked to see Camp go instead of Bowden.
    Cubs have been lucky with most of the guys they have DFA’ed to be able to re-sign for AAA, but think that Bowden will be picked up and that streak may end.

  • Brp921

    I think the FO decided it wasn’t a big deal and let Sveum choose who he wanted to keep and Camp is his “Neifi Perez”.

  • Tony_Hall

    Is everyone forgetting what designate for assignment means, before blowing up about the move?

    “When a player is placed on the Designated List (and is “Designated for Assignment”), the “Designated Player” is removed from his club’s MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), and then the club has up to ten days to either trade, release, or outright the player to the minors.”

    With at least 3 teams needing bullpen help right now, it is likely the Cubs will maximize Bowden’s value by trading him right now. Camp could be worth something closer to July as he is worth nothing right now with such a bad start.

    I know we all would make better moves then the guys who do this for a living and have all the information versus us who have just a little of it, but sometimes there is more to the story on every move.

    Here is why you use “designated for assignment”.

    “Sometimes a club wants to remove a player from its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), but it has to be done immediately because the player’s roster slot is needed, and it takes two business days to get a player through waivers. Or sometimes a club wants to remove a player from its MLB Active List (25-man roster), but the player has no minor league options remaining (or would have to clear Optional Assignment Waivers before he can be optioned to the minors), so the only way to remove the player from the 25-man roster would be by Outright Release, Outright Assignment, or a trade (or in the case of a player who needs to clear….When a player is placed on the Designated List (and is “Designated for Assignment”), the “Designated Player” is removed from his club’s MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), and then the club has up to ten days to either trade, release, or outright the player to the minors.”

    • Tony_Hall

      And why would a team wanting to try and sneak a player through waivers, let the news leak 2 days before they were going to do it…..they wouldn’t, they wanted the Blue Jays, Braves and Tigers to start looking at Bowden to help create offers for him, maybe even before Tuesday.

      • Brp921

        thanks for the info Tony. I was aware of the waiver rule for trades but not the DFA. The move makes sense now.

      • 07GreyDigger

        I agree with this point except if you look at the case of Julio Borbon. The Rangers did the same thing and he was rumored to have a lot of suitors as well.

        Because the DFA has a time limit, the Cubs may look to want too much for Bowden and end up with nothing, as teams can just wait out the 10 days and get him for free. Let’s hope they don’t shoot for the moon here and be realistic.

        • Tony_Hall

          Why would you assume they will ask too much and take too much time? They are not looking for a elite prospect, just another live arm that is not needed to be on the 40 man roster most likely in A ball.

          And they may end up with nothing,

          • 07GreyDigger

            I’m not assuming they will. The possibility is there however. There’s just a lot of similarities between the Bowden and Borbon situations as they are both former first round picks who don’t really have a proven track record.

            In the Rangers case, I think they overvalued Borbon and got nothing out of him for the DFA, I just hope the Cubs don’t overvalue Bowden and take your idea of a live arm for single A.

          • Tony_Hall

            I’m not sure why you don’t think they can get a player from A ball. They are not likely to get anyone in AA or AAA. And they won’t be anyone from a prospect list. This front office has done well picking out lower level arms from other teams. See the Campana trade for an example.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Tony, I agree with you on 90% of what you say here. Haha. I’m not saying I don’t think they can’t get a player from A ball, I’m just hoping they don’t get too greedy and overvalue Bowden is all.

          • Tony_Hall

            Thanks, but it is not about agreeing or disagreeing as much as having a discussion about our favorite team. Let’s hope they make the most of the situation.

  • John_CC

    I am solo tired of hearing the term “roster management!” You don’t like the move fine, but is NOT poor “roster management.”. In fact it is good management for the reason that Tony has been trying to explain over and over. There is a chance to acquire a new player in this, probably another middling reliever that might do better than Bowden, maybe maybe not. Who cares?! Bowden is a dime a dozen pitcher! They needed space to add Garza and move Villaneuva to the pen. The pen is better now, fact. The Cubs will most likely acquire a replacement for Bowden. This is smarter management of the roster than simply dumpimg a guy, paying him anyway and getting nothing on return.

    Please!