The Cubs have a pair of roster casualties today amidst their first round of September call-ups: right-hander Luke Farrell and left-hander Rob Zastryzny have been designated for assignment in order to clear room on the roster for outfielder Terrance Gore and infielder Taylor Davis, whose contracts have been selected from Triple-A Iowa.
Farrell has done more harm than good for the 2018 Cubs team; his 5.17 ERA and 5.19 FIP are nearly identical, indicating he hasn’t shown the skills required of an effective major-league pitcher. While his ability to miss bats (11.20 K/9) might disagree with that assumption to some extent, his command issues (4.60 BB/9) strengthens the case that he isn’t a useful major-league piece at this time. His biggest woes come from the fact that he’s an extreme fly-ball pitcher (30.6% ground-ball rate) who allows an excess of homers (17.5% homer-to-fly-ball ratio).
The 26-year-old Zastryzny has seen less of an extended look at the MLB level, but showed even less promise than Farrell in that small sample. He’s allowed three earned runs while walking four batters in a 5 2/3 inning sample size, and while it’s perhaps unfair to draw many conclusions from that limited opportunity, his 2018 Triple-A performance doesn’t necessarily help his cause. While the 3.86 ERA he posted in 56 innings there might seem serviceable on the surface, the 4.68 FIP and 4.52 xFIP lurking underneath paint an entirely different picture. He also walked a batter every other inning on average while with Iowa.