5/17 Bullpen moves – UPDATED
The Cubs added another arm to the bullpen on Thursday, calling up right-hander Blake Parker from Triple-A Iowa. Parker was 1-0 and 5-for-5 in save opportunities in 13 games with Iowa, giving up three earned runs on nine hits over 13 innings. He has not pitched since Sunday, so he’s fresh. Parker has not served up a home run, and has held hitters to a .200 average. The 26-year-old reliever, who turns 27 on June 19, has yet to appear in the big leagues, pitching at Double-A Tennessee and Iowa last season.
Parker’s contract was purchased from Iowa, and the 40-man roster is now at 39. Scott Maine was optioned to Iowa to make room on the 25-man roster.
“I liked him a lot in Spring Training,” Dale Sveum said. “He’s got an above average slider and that’s one thing we need right now is somebody who can go through right-handers with a slider. He’s got velocity. He’s a guy who has done a nice job and you have to start rewarding guys who’ve done a nice job.”
The Cubs’ bullpen has struggled, compiling the worst record in the National League at 5-11, which includes Wednesday’s loss to the Phillies. Chicago’s relief corps ranks 26th in the Majors with a 4.76 ERA. The are fourth in the National League in most hits allowed (57), trailing the Mets, Brewers and Rockies.
— Carrie Muskat