Cubs option Adrian Sampson to trim roster to 13-pitcher limit, recall Nelson Velázquez

Cubs outfielder Nelson Velázquez beats the throw to Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Ethan Small during both players’ MLB debuts last month. Velázquez recorded hits in each of his first to MLB games.

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PITTSBURGH – The Cubs made good use of the extra roster flexibility Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association granted at the start of the season. It helped them weather a spike of injuries, which has hit their rotation especially hard lately. 

On Monday, however, the 13-pitcher roster limit went into effect. The Cubs optioned right-hander Adrian Sampson to Triple-A Iowa to comply, and they recalled outfielder Nelson Velázquez. 

Sampson threw 4 ⅔ shutout innings against the Braves on Sunday, after Kyle Hendricks’ short start in a 6-0 loss. 

“The conversation with Sampson was extremely difficult,” Cubs manager Davis Ross said Monday. “The guy goes out there and saves your bullpen, saves the team, allows us to reset that bullpen with probably one the better performances I’ve seen him have and one of the better performances out of our bullpen. 

“But he’s probably down for three days, can’t use him. And we’re cutting down a pitcher. So at this moment in time, we cannot afford to be short with no off days coming up.” 

The Cubs are in the middle of a stretch of 17 games without a break on the schedule. Their next off day is set for next Monday. 

To address injury concerns coming out of a short spring training, MLB and the players association agreed to expand rosters for the first month of the season and twice pushed back the implementation of the 13-pitcher limit.

The Cubs still …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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