The Cubs on Friday placed catcher P.J. Higgins on the 10-day injured list due to a forearm strain and selected the contract of backstop Jose Lobaton in his place. In order to clear roster space for the well-traveled Lobaton, Chicago designated right-hander Dakota Chalmers for assignment.
Chalmers’ stay with the Cubs organization could prove exceptionally brief. The righty was claimed off waivers from the Twins just six days ago and has yet to even pitch in a game with the Cubs’ top affiliate in Iowa.
The 24-year-old Chalmers was a third-round pick of the A’s back in 2015 and made his way to the Twins organization via a 2018 trade that sent Fernando Rodney from Minnesota to Oakland. He’s drawn praise in the past for a strong three-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, changeup) but consistently struggled to throw strikes. Chalmers, who also had Tommy John surgery in 2018, has walked or hit 19 percent of the batters he’s faced during his professional career. The Cubs will have a week to trade him or place him back on outright waivers.
Lobaton, 36, will be returning to the Majors for his first appearance since 2018. He was batting just .179 in Triple-A at the time of his promotion, albeit with much heartier marks in on-base percentage (.347) and slugging percentage (.410). The switch-hitting Lobaton has played in 413 games at the MLB level and is a career .215/.293/.319 batter in 1278 plate appearances. He’ll give the Cubs an experienced backup to Willson Contreras with both Higgins and the veteran Austin Romine on the injured list.