The Cubs announced Friday that they’ve reinstated minor league right-hander Oscar De La Cruz from the restricted list now that his 80-game suspension has been completed. In order to open a spot for De La Cruz on the 40-man roster, Chicago transferred Tony Barnette from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list.
De La Cruz, 24, received an 80-game suspension last July after testing positive for the banned substance furosemide. He’d been working through his first season at the Double-A level and struggling a bit, having pitched to a 5.24 ERA with diminished control through 16 starts.
De La Cruz was the Cubs’ top-ranked prospect by some outlets back in 2017 but has seen his stock dip in recent years — even before being hit with this suspension. He’s made three starts with Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach this season, as the league’s drug policy allows players to make unpaid rehab appearances to get up to speed at the tail end of suspensions. He’ll head to Double-A Tennessee.
As for Barnette, the former Rangers reliever was signed to a big league contract this winter but hit the injured list late in Spring Training due to inflammation in his shoulder. The 35-year-old had been pitching on a rehab assignment in Triple-A Iowa, but the Cubs’ press release indicates that Barnette was pulled back from that assignment. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com tweets that Barnette is still experiencing tightness in his problematic shoulder, so it seems as though he won’t be an option for the Cubs anytime in the near future.