Cubs add bench depth, designate pitcher Tyson Miller for assignment
Facing a difficult situation, the Cubs were forced to make an equally difficult choice Sunday afternoon.
The team placed infielder David Bote on the 10-day injured list after he dislocated his left shoulder on a slide Saturday. He underwent an MRI Sunday morning, which revealed no tears or significant damage beyond the initial separation.
“It looks like it’s on the better side of the news,” David Ross said.
There is no timetable for his return, but Bote is expected to miss several weeks.
Sergio Alcántara was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to replace Bote on the roster and give the Cubs another option off the bench. To create room on the 40-man roster for Alcántara, the team designated right-handed pitcher Tyson Miller for assignment.
Alcántara, 24, is a switch-hitting infielder who made his MLB debut last season with the Tigers, hitting a homer and a triple in 10 games. The Cubs selected him off waivers in February.
He has been an on-base machine with Triple-A Iowa this season, posting a .328/.481/.459 slash line (.940 OPS) with more walks (18) than strikeouts (16).
Miller, 25, made his MLB debut last season for the Cubs, starting 1 game and appearing in relief for another contest. He has pitched in 3 games (1 start) for Iowa this year with a 5.06 ERA.
The Cubs selected Miller in the 4th round of the 2016 draft and has worked mostly as a starter in the minor league system. He boasted a 2.56 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 15 starts for Double-A Tennessee in 2019.
The Miller DFA came as a bit of a surprise, but it illustrates the roster crunch the Cubs currently face.
With 11 players currently on the IL and Anthony Rizzo (low back tightness) also day-to-day, the team desperately needed another position player. The only other options on the 40-man roster were prospects Miguel Amaya and Christopher Morel, who have played just 20 games above Class-A ball.
Rizzo hit off a tee Saturday but is still experiencing some limited range of motion.
Jake Marisnick and Jason Heyward are both recovering from hamstring injuries and the Cubs hope to get the veteran outfielders back in the fold soon.
“There’s a long list,” Ross said. “It’s like 11 or 12 guys in my report in the morning so keeping track of all of them is getting a little daunting. I think everybody who is injured outside of David right now is progressing nicely.”
Alcántara was active for Sunday’s game against the Reds and went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.
To add to the onslaught of injuries, pitcher Trevor Williams will miss some time after undergoing an appendectomy Sunday morning. He was slated to start Monday against the Padres but the Cubs will have to go another route instead.