Right-hander Robert Gsellman, whom the Cubs designated for assignment back on May 30, went unclaimed on outright waivers, as first indicated on the team’s transactions log at MLB.com. The longtime Mets right-hander has enough service time to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency, but Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register tweeted this weekend that Gsellman has rejoined the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.
Non-tendered by the Mets last winter, Gsellman signed a minor league deal with Chicago and had has contract selected in early May after posting a tidy 1.17 ERA through 15 1/3 innings with the Cubs’ Iowa affiliate. Gsellman worked an identical number of innings in the Majors following that initial call to the big league roster, but he was tagged for 10 runs (eight earned) on 17 hits and three walks with nine punchouts prior to his DFA.
The 28-year-old Gsellman has battled his share of injuries but has at times been a solid middle relief/setup option for the Mets. Over the past five years in Queens, Gsellman has dealt with a hamstring strain, a ribcage fracture, a pair triceps injuries and, most recently in 2021, a lat strain that limited him to just 17 appearances. Gsellman sustained that lat strain in a June 19 appearance for the Mets last summer and didn’t return to the mound until the final weekend of the season, on Oct. 2.
Gsellman’s 93.5 mph average heater in 2022 was down from its 95.5 mph peak (2019), and his 41.2% grounder rate through those 15 1/3 frames was considerably south of the career 48.6% mark he carried into the 2022 season. He also allowed far too much hard contact, with exactly half the balls put in play against him clocking it at 95 mph or more. Given the inexperienced state of the Cubs’ bullpen — plus the looming likelihood of trades involving veteran arms like David Robertson, Mychal Givens and Daniel Norris — there ought to be future opportunities for Gsellman to work his way back into the big league mix if he continues performing well in Triple-A.