The Cubs have signed left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a Major League contract, the team announced. (MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat was among to report the news). The veteran southpaw has already been activated and is on the Cubs’ roster for today’s afternoon game with the Nationals. To create roster space, Yu Darvish was transferred to the 60-day DL and left-hander Randy Rosario was sent down to Triple-A.
De La Rosa was released by the Diamondbacks earlier this week after he posted a 4.63 ERA, 6.9 K/9, and 1.42 K/BB rate over 35 innings out of the Arizona bullpen. It was something of a feast-or-famine situation for De La Rosa this season, as he posted both a 51.9% grounder rate but also an ungainly 20% home run rate. Right-handed batters hit De La Rosa hard, to the tune of a .927 OPS, though he was quite effective against left-handed batters, limiting them to just a .220/.309/.407 slash line.
Justin Wilson is the only other left-hander in Chicago’s bullpen, and while Wilson has generally pitched well this season, he has continued to have control issues (6.2 BB/9). The 24-year-old Rosario has a 3.00 ERA over 33 frames this season, though since he had almost as many walks (19) as strikeouts (21), it makes sense that the Cubs wanted a more experienced left-handed presence, despite De La Rosa’s own struggles.
The club was known to be looking at bullpen help in the leadup to the trade deadline but came away with two right-handers (Brandon Kintzler and Jesse Chavez) rather than additional left-handed depth. Mike Montgomery has pitched well as a starter, but the Cubs could still potentially make him their primary left-handed relief option once Darvish returns from the DL, since Montgomery probably wouldn’t be in line to be used as a starter anyways in a potential playoff series.