Cubs call-up RHP Dillon Maples, INF/OF Mike Freeman and C/1B Victor Caratini … RHP Justin Grimm activated from 10-day DL … RHP Seth Frankoff and RHP Jose Rosario Designated for Assignment … OF Leonys Martin to be added to roster Saturday … LHP Jon Lester to be activated from DL to start Saturday versus the Braves
The Cubs made the first round of September call-ups on Friday prior to the second of the four-game series against the Braves. The Cubs selected the contracts of RHP Dillon Maples and INF/OF Mike Freeman. Maples and Freeman were added to the 40-man roster. To make room for Maples and Freeman, RHP Seth Frankoff and RHP Jose Rosario were designated for assignment.
The Cubs recalled C/1B Victor Caratini and RHP Justin Grimm was activated from the 10-day disabled list.
The Cubs 40-man roster stands at 40 players with another round of changes expected on Saturday.
Mike Freeman will wear uniform number 15 and Dillon Maples will wear uniform number 36.
Freeman, 30, joins the Cubs for the first time this season after signing a minor league contract with the club on Aug. 7. Freeman has also been in the Mariners and Dodgers organizations this year and spent most of the campaign at Triple-A, combining to bat .306 (79-for-258) with 10 doubles, three homers, 31 RBI and a .380 on-base percentage in 80 games between Tacoma, Oklahoma City and Iowa. In Triple-A this year, he has played third base (27 games), shortstop (25 games), second base (18 games), first base (one game) and all three outfield spots (11 games).
The left-handed batter and right-handed thrower has spent parts of the last two seasons in the big leagues with Arizona (2016), Seattle (2016-17) and the Dodgers (2017), batting .123/.206/.193 (7-for-57) with one home run and two RBI in 41 career games. Defensively, he has played every position but catcher and center field at the Major League level.
Maples, 25, joins the first big league roster of his career after combining to go 6-3 with 13 saves, a 2.27 ERA (16 earned runs in 63 1/3 innings) and a 1.27 WHIP in 52 relief outings with High-A Myrtle Beach, Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa this season. He has struck out 100 batters in 63 1/3 innings while limiting foes to a .192 batting average. Maples began the season in High-A, climbed to Tennessee on June 9 and reached Iowa on July 17, where he went 1-2 with four saves, a 1.96 ERA (four earned runs in 18 1/3 innings) and a 1.25 WHIP in 17 outings to earn his first promotion.
The West End, N.C. native was originally selected by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 2011 Draft out of Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines. Overall he is 13-17 with 24 saves, a 4.55 ERA (124 earned runs in 245 2/3 innings) and a 1.50 WHIP in 135 minor league appearances (105 as a reliever, 30 as a starter) covering five minor league campaigns in the Cubs system.
Victor Caratini, 24, joins the Cubs for the third time this season. Caratini has batted .268/.318/.415 (11-for-41) with three doubles, one home run and two RBI in 17 games with the Cubs during his first two stints from June 28-Aug. 1 and Aug. 11-20. Caratini has started seven games behind the plate, with the Cubs going 5-2 in those contests.
The switch-hitting Caratini batted .342/.393/.558 (100-for-292) with 27 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs and a .951 OPS in 83 games for Iowa this season.
Justin Grimm, 29, was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Aug. 18 due to an infection in his right index finger. He made two rehab appearances with Iowa as part of his return, allowing one run while striking out four in two innings of work. Overall, Grimm is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA (26 earned runs in 43 1/3 innings) and a 1.33 WHIP in 39 appearances with the Cubs this season.
Seth Frankoff, 29, went 2-8 with a 4.40 ERA (57 earned runs in 116 2/3 innings) and a 1.27 WHIP in 24 outings (21 starts) with Iowa this season. Frankoff made his Major League debut and pitched in one game for the Cubs this season, allowing two earned runs in two innings.
Jose Rosario, 27, went 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA (13 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings) and a 1.78 WHIP in 16 minor league relief appearances this season over three levels in the Cubs’ system.
The Cubs traded for OF Leonys Martin prior to Thursday’s waiver deadline. The Cubs sent cash and a PTBNL to the Mariners for the veteran outfielder and cash. Martin was recently designated for assignment and had been assigned to Triple-A Tacoma. Martin was not on Seattle’s 40-man roster at the time of the trade.
Martin, 29, is expected to join the Cubs on Saturday. In order for the Cubs to add him to the roster, the front office will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Martin played in only 34 games for the Mariners this season and hit .174/.221/.287 with a .508 OPS. The Cubs figure to use Martin as a pinch-runner late in games down the stretch as Joe Maddon’s team looks to hoist the NL Central Division Crown for the second straight season … and punch its ticket to the postseason for the third consecutive year.
LHP Jon Lester will be activated from the DL and start against the Braves on Saturday afternoon.