With the Cubs’ season winding down and the focus shifting to football, Dale Sveum is taking the opportunity to make some changes while no one’s paying attention. With the expanded rosters, the Cubs are making some moves during their weekend series against the San Francisco Giants.
After Thursday’s whirlwind series finale against the Brewers, Brooks Raley is on his way back to Iowa after he reached his innings limit for the season (not to mention he gave up ten hits and seven runs). Replacing him will be Jeff Beliveau, last year’s Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year. While I would have liked to see more of Raley, he’ll have to wait until next year to make a better impression on the team and fans than he did in his last disastrous outing.
Meanwhile, Beliveau has been decent at the major league level, allowing 11 hits and four runs in 11 2/3 innings. And while those numbers aren’t fantastic, it should be noted that he gave up two of those runs on two homers in the same inning (everyone has bad innings, right? No? It’s just the Cubs?). Anyways, Beliveau has also struck out 10 so far, a number he should be keen on increasing in his looming opportunities.
Scheduled to come up Saturday are Adrian Cardenas, Tony Campana and Dave Sappelt. The latter is an outfielder who the Cubs were adamant about getting, so it’ll be interesting to see what he can do. In 107 at-bats, Sappelt has 26 hits, eight doubles and has scored 14 runs. Out of those plate appearances, he has only 17 strikeouts and a .243 batting average. Obviously, we’ll have to see what he can do at the major league level before any conclusions can be drawn.
As far as Campana goes, it may seem to fans like he had fallen off the face of the earth. And I guess you could say that, because he was in Iowa (just kidding). Campana has been relatively successful in Triple-A, squeaking out an impressive 18 stolen bases in just 37 games played. In comparison, with the Cubs, he stole 26 in 70 games. He also has 40 hits and 24 runs, much improved from his stint in Chicago. And as far as Cardenas goes, his performance with the Cubs this season doesn’t reflect the success he had in Iowa. His biggest demon will be learning to make the transition.
Pitchers Miguel Socolovich, Chris Rusin and Rafael Dolis are also expected to be called up. Socolovich doesn’t have much to show for his limited time with the Cubs, but in Norfolk he maintained a 1.90 ERA in 28 games. Rusin did well in his first start with the Cubs, allowing only one hit and one run, and is expected to take Raley’s spot on the rotation. And after going to Iowa, Dolis improved somewhat drastically. He’s pitched nine more innings in the majors than he has in the minors, but in the minors has more strikeouts and 13 less runs allowed.
Rusin will be added Tuesday, along with newly acquired catcher Anthony Recker. And while the Cubs are just no fun to watch these days, I’ll be watching to see if any of these guys impress and have a chance at a future spot.
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