The Cubs announced a series of roster moves today, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales (Twitter links). Tyler Chatwood was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Thursday, due to a back strain. His active roster spot will be filled by right-hander Jason Adam. In turn, Jharel Cotton was designated for assignment to clear a spot for Adam on the 40-man roster.
The Cubs will have a week to trade, release, or outright Cotton to the minors. With one option year remaining and four more seasons of team control, he could be a worthwhile depth pickup for teams with thin pitching staffs. At 28 years old, Cotton is still relatively inexperienced at the Major League level and finds himself in a somewhat new role; 2019 marked the first year since his pro debut in 2012 that the majority of Cotton’s appearances came in relief.
Chatwood has started off the season looking like he’s on track for a nice bounce-back season, although you wouldn’t think so based on his unimpressive 5.40 ERA. Still, he’s striking out batters at a career-best rate (13.8 K/9) while his walks, which have thus far been the biggest obstacle to his success, have trended in the opposite direction: 2.4 BB/9, a career-low rate. That’s lent itself to a 2.60 FIP, which the Cubs ought to be pleased with given his unremarkable numbers over the previous two years.
Adam, 29, signed with the Cubs as a minor-league free agent after two Major League stints with the Royals and Blue Jays. He enjoyed a bit of success last year, posting a 2.91 ERA in 21 2/3 innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio (18 K/10 BB) was nothing special, but he’s good solid stuff: his fastball, which averaged 94.4 mph last year, brings a spin rate that ranked in the 97th-percentile last year, per Statcast. Supplemented with a curveball and changeup, that type of action can certainly play at the MLB level.