Cubs add intriguing flamethrower to bullpen mix
The Cubs made an addition to their bullpen Tuesday afternoon, claiming right-handed pitcher Julian Merryweather off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays.
To make room for Merryweather on the roster, the team designated righty Manuel Rodríguez for assignment.
Merryweather, 31, has appeared in parts of 3 seasons for the Blue Jays since 2020, pitching to a 5.64 ERA and a 1.367 WHIP in 47 games (5 starts) and 52.2 innings of work. His pickup is an interesting one — his stuff plays, but has struggled to stay healthy.
He’s been known for his fastball, which ranks in the top 6th percentile of velocity in baseball, sitting at an average of 97 mph. He complements that with an 88-mph slider and a changeup and curveball that he uses less frequently than the other two pitches.
He was Cleveland’s fifth round pick in the 2014 draft, when Cubs GM Carter Hawkins was the assistant director of player development. Merryweather has pitched to a 3.86 ERA in 106 minor league games with Cleveland and Toronto. He was acquired by the Blue Jays in 2018 in the Josh Donaldson trade, the same year he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
Rodríguez, 26, posted a 4.88 ERA with 5 saves in 34 career major league games for the Cubs across 2021 and 2022. He missed most of the 2022 season due to a right elbow strain.