The Cubs have selected the contract of right-hander Daniel Palencia, a move first reported by Marcos Grunfeld of El Emergente. The full slate of moves, as relayed by Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic, also sees infielder Patrick Wisdom activated from the injured list. In corresponding active roster moves, infielder Nick Madrigal has been placed on the 10-day IL with a right hamstring strain while right-hander Hayden Wesneski has been optioned. To open a spot on the 40-man for Palencia, righty Brad Boxberger was transferred to the 60-day IL.
Palencia, 23, was originally a prospect with the Athletics, but came over to the Cubs in the 2021 trade that sent lefty Andrew Chafin to Oakland. He’s worked mostly as a starter, but the club recently converted him to relief work upon promoting him to Triple-A.
The results there have been mixed, as he’s posted an ERA of 7.90 through 13 outings. That’s a small sample and there might be some fluky bad luck in there, considering his 50.9% strand rate. He’s struck out 27.3% of batters faced while walking 10.6%. His 4.09 FIP suggests he has deserved better results than he’s actually gotten so far. The Cubs will give him a shot at getting big league hitters out and hope that the wheel of fortune spins in a better direction for him going forward.
Madrigal left yesterday’s game with hamstring tightness and will sit out the next 10 days. It’s unclear how severe his injury is, but the upcoming All-Star break would allow him to miss only a handful of games if it’s on the minor side. He’s only struck out in 9.6% of his plate appearances but has just one home run, producing a .278/.335/.364 batting line. His roster spot will go to a hitter with the opposite profile, as Wisdom has 14 homers but a massive 38.9% strikeout rate, leading to a line of .196/.285/.467.
As for Boxberger, he’ll been on the injured list since May 14 due to a right forearm strain. He’ll now be ineligible to return until 60 days from that initial IL placement, meaning he can technically return after the All-Star break. But since he hasn’t yet started a rehab assignment, that doesn’t seem especially likely, making this transaction a mere formality.