The Chicago Cubs made a set a roster moves today, recalling José Martínez from their alternate site and sending southpaw Josh Osich down to South Bend in his place, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN (via Twitter). Martinez will be in uniform for tonight’s game against the Twins.
The Cubs made moves to get both players at the deadline, but they came amidst a flurry of activity from a Chicago front office intent on adding depth. Cubs fans were definitely aware of Martinez after his many seasons in St. Louis, but any memories of his abilities as a towering right-handed slugger dissipated quickly as he went hitless in his first six games as a Cub. Martinez saw 3 starts at designated hitter while appearing in the other 3 as a pinch-hitter, roles he’s likely to assume once again as long as the Cubbies keep him on the active roster.
Known as a lefty masher due to a career 149 wRC+ against left-handed pitching, the Cubs long-term evaluation of Martinez likely hasn’t changed after just 15 plate appearances. He’ll get some opportunities against southpaws in the designated hitter spot as the number of games before the postseason winnow away. Manager David Ross will likely try to decide whether he can trust Martinez’s bat enough to give him a roster spot in the postseason.
Osich had a rough go of it after joining the Cubs from the Boston Red Sox. Over four outings, the 32-year-old coughed up 6 runs (3 earned) covering just 2 2/3 innings. With Andrew Chafin – another deadline acquisition – finally getting healthy, Osich may have lost his opportunity to make an impact on this Cubs squad. The Cubs are rostering Kyle Ryan and Rex Brothers along with Chafin as lefty options out of the pen, and when Jose Quintana returns from injury, he’ll be another southpaw that Ross can call on in relief.