Cubs activate LHP Aroldis Chapman – Designate LHP Clayton Richard for assignment
The Cubs announced two roster moves Tuesday afternoon ahead of the second game of the Crosstown Cup Series at the Cell. The Cubs activated LHP Aroldis Chapman. To make room on the 25-man roster, LHP Clayton Richard was designated for assignment.
The Cubs’ 40-man roster now stands at 39 players.
With Tuesday’s roster moves, the Cubs 25-man roster consists of 13 pitchers (five starters, eight relievers) and 12 position players.
There have been major changes to the Cubs’ relief staff over the last week.
Joe Maddon’s bullpen: RHP Joe Nathan, RHP Carl Edwards Jr., RHP Justin Grimm, LHP Mike Montgomery, LHP Travis Wood, RHP Pedro Strop, RHP Hector Rondon, LHP Aroldis Chapman
The Cubs have decided to stick with an eight-man bullpen. The Cubs will have decisions to make when RHP Trevor Cahill and Brian Matusz are ready to join the big league pitching staff.
Aroldis Chapman, who will wear uniform number 54, is 3-0 with 20 saves and a 2.01 ERA (seven earned runs in 31 1/3 innings) in 31 relief appearances with the Yankees this season. He has struck out 44 batters and walked only eight in 31 1/3 innings while pitching to a 0.89 WHIP. Chapman has limited foes to a .179 batting average, a .233 on-base percentage and a .286 slugging percentage, good for a .519 opponent OPS. Chapman joins the Cubs having not allowed a run in his last nine appearances, covering 11.1 innings, starting June 30, limiting opponents to a .367 OPS in that span.
Chapman, 28, originally signed a six-year major league contract with the Cincinnati Reds in January of 2010 and was traded to the Yankees last December as the headliner of a five-player trade. He signed a one-year deal with the Yankees to avoid arbitration in his final season of eligibility in February. Chapman made his New York debut on May 9 after beginning the season serving a 30-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Chapman has gone 22-20 with 166 saves and a 2.16 ERA (84 earned runs in 350 1/3 innings) in 355 career appearances covering seven seasons with Cincinnati (2010-15) and New York (2016). The four-time N.L. All-Star (2012-15) has exceeded 30 saves in each of the last four seasons while his career 89.7 save percentage ranks second among all active pitchers with at least 175 opportunities.
Overall in his career, Chapman has pitched to a 1.00 WHIP while limiting opponents to a .157 batting average, a .265 on-base percentage and a .232 slugging percentage, good for a .497 opponent OPS, the second lowest career opponent OPS of any active relief pitcher. Chapman has limited left-handed hitters to a .123 batting average and right-handers to a .168 mark. He has struck out 590 batters in 350 1/3 innings pitched for an average of 15.16 strikeouts per nine innings, the best ratio of any active relief pitcher.
Clayton Richard had a rough season pitching out of the Cubs bullpen. Richard appeared in 25 games and was 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA, 2.14 WHIP and 4.07 FIP. Richard allowed 14 runs, 10 earned, on 23 hits with seven walks and seven strikeouts in 14 innings.
Richard turned his career around last season after the Cubs purchased him from the Pirates on July 3. Richard was 4-2 in 23 games, three starts, with a 3.83 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.