Why the Chicago Cubs picked right-hander Adrian Sampson as Triple A substitute after a brilliant outing – The Mercury News

Right-hander Adrian Sampson did everything within his control to stay on the Chicago Cubs roster.

Sampson impressed on Sunday, closing out the Atlanta Braves in relief 4⅔ innings with five strikeouts, without a walk and only one batsman reaching base. But when the Cubs needed to remove a pitcher from their active roster for the 13-pitcher limit by Monday’s deadline, Sampson was the odd man.

The rule was initially set to go into effect at the start of the season, then was pushed back twice as a 99-day lockout impacted pitchers’ ability.

Manager David Ross described an “extremely difficult” conversation with Sampson when he was told about the decision to substitute Triple-A Iowa. Sampson is unavailable for three days because of how much he pitched on Sunday, which played a part.

Ross said before Monday, “That guy goes out there and saves your bullpen, saves the team, allows us to reset the bullpen, probably a better performance than I’ve seen him and better performances than our bullpen.” is one of them.” Series opener against Pittsburgh Pirates. “At this point in time, we can’t afford to be short with no holiday coming up.

“So it’s a tough conversation. It’s some of the worst I’ve had, especially when it’s not performance-based. As bad as this stinks, it made an impression on everyone, and when you come out and do this So the sooner you are going to come back refreshed.”

The Cubs recalled outfielder Nelson Velázquez to replace Sampson, giving him an equal split between pitchers and position players on the 26-man roster. Velázquez is expected to be used as a pinch hitter and can start against left-handers. Ross said that Velázquez’s role would be the same as that of Clint Frazier when he was on the roster.

“Right now he’ll just get off the bench and be a pinch hitter and an extra outfield body,” Ross said.

This will likely be another short stint in the majors for Velázquez. David Botte resumed his rehab last week after dizziness stalled his return as he was working back from left shoulder surgery. Botte was on leave on Monday and will play seven to nine innings in Iowa on Tuesday.

Seiya Suzuki is working out at the team’s campus in Mesa, Ariz., while the Cubs are on a seven-game journey. Ross said Suzuki’s left ring finger showed little swelling when Ross looked at it before parting ways before a trip to Pittsburgh.

The Cubs should have a better idea by the end of their four-game series against the Pirates as to how long Frank Schwindell could be sidelined due to a strain on his lower back. Schwindel deals with similar back issues in the spring, so expect the Cubs to take a cautious approach and not push the first baseman to return too early.

The Cubs are unable to catch the brakes with injuries. As of Monday, they have 13 players on the injured list. An inexperienced rotation will need to step up after the loss of extra reliever, starting with rookie Caleb Killian, who started against the Pirates on Monday.

Ross said, “It’s going to be even more important that we find guys who can get us out of the bullpen and keep us in the game or keep us on the edge and give us many innings ” “Because you’re not going to be able to use everyone every day, and we have a long season and a lot of back-to-back games. Pitchers, especially the bullpen ones, get screwed.”

Multi-inning arms are of added value for teams that need to cover innings from the bullpen. Right-hander Alec Mills knows that pitchers like him will become even more important as the team adjusts to having one less pitcher on staff.

“I need to be ready to go every day,” Mills told the Tribune on Monday. “With fewer pitchers, sometimes I need to wear a couple so we can save the bullpen. I think we saw, especially ok when i came about two weeks ago, but I needed to go out there and do it right away. The bullpen was fried, so I was happy to do it.”

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