The Cubs are making a batch of roster moves prior to today’s game, per reporter Mark Gonzales. Right-hander Adbert Alzolay has been reinstated from the 60-day injured list while infielder Esteban Quiroz has had his contract selected. In corresponding moves, outfielder Seiya Suzuki was placed on the paternity list while left-hander Sean Newcomb and first baseman Frank Schwindel were designated for assignment.
Quiroz, 30, has taken an unusual path to the big leagues as he was playing in the Mexican League for years, not signing with an affiliated club until he was nearing his 26th birthday. He’s spent time in the minor league systems of the Red Sox, Padres and Rays, before coming to the Cubs as part of the Harold Ramirez trade in March. He’s only been healthy enough to get into 40 Triple-A games this season, hitting .212/.358/.322 in that time for a wRC+ of 89. However, he’s been much better since returning from the injured list at the start of August, hitting .299/.450/.442 in that time. He’s played second base and third base this year, though has also played some shortstop in previous season and some outfield work back in Mexico.
With the Cubs well out of contention and just over two weeks remaining on this year’s schedule, they can use those games to audition players for future roles on the team. Quiroz will jump into an infield mix that also includes Zach McKinstry, Christopher Morel, Patrick Wisdom, Alfonso Rivas, David Bote and Nico Hoerner, though Hoerner might not be a factor for a while. He’s missed time recently with an injury and an MRI just revealed a moderate right triceps strain, per Gonzales. “It was a little worse off than we thought,” manager David Ross told Gonzales.
Schwindel, 30, got a nice stretch of play last year after the Cubs traded away many of their regular at the deadline. He made the most of that opportunity, hitting 14 home runs in 64 games, slashing an incredible .326/.371/.591 for a 154 wRC+. He couldn’t keep the fairy tale alive this year, however, as he’s hit just .229/.277/.358 for a wRC+ of 76. With the trade deadline passed, he’ll be placed on waivers in the coming days to see if any other team believes there’s more magic left in Frank the Tank.
Newcomb, 29, once seemed like a rotation stalwart in Atlanta but has fallen on hard times recently. He was bumped to bullpen work and eventually designated for assignment earlier this year, getting traded to the Cubs. The change of scenery hasn’t helped much as Newcomb has a ghastly 8.78 ERA in 27 2/3 innings this year, walking 14.2% of batters faced in the process. This is the second time the Cubs have designated him this year, with the previous instance resulting in Newcomb clearing waivers and accepting an outright assignment. Based on his unfortunate results this year, he’ll likely pass through waivers unclaimed again. With minor league seasons winding down, it’s possible he could accept another outright and make a couple of appearances in the minors, though it’s also possible he just decides to get an early start on free agency.