Cubs Recall Rapada, Send Murton to Iowa
The Cubs have recalled LHP Clay Rapada from Iowa
, and have optioned OF Matt Murton
to the same club.
The side-slingin' Rapada has been the Iowa Cubs primary closer this season, but as shown by his '07 AAA splits
, he is really more of a classic LOOGY. That is, he is death on left-handed hitters, but with his frisbee-style offerings that seem to come out of right field, you really don't want him to throw to MLB-quality right-handed swingers if it can be avoided.
As for Murton, this move will give Orange Guy a chance to play everyday (probably playing RF and hitting 3rd in the I-Cubs lineup), and (hopefully) get his groove back, either forcing himself back into the Cubs starting lineup as the everyday RF at some point in the not-too-distant future--or at least making him more attractive as trade bait later this season or next off-season.
Adding Rapada gives the Cubs a 13-man pitching staff, so expect a pitcher to get trimmed from the roster whenever the first position player (Blanco, Ward or Ramirez) returns from the DL (probably no later than a week from Friday when A-Ram is due back, if not sooner). However, the Cubs do have the luxury of having two pitchers (Carlos Zambrano and Jason Marquis) on their roster who can be used as a PH on days when they're not pitching. The Cubs bullpen has been used quite a bit over the past four games, so adding the 13th pitcher is probably just a short-term thing.
This roster move (at least the Murton part) is probably part of Uncle Lou's long-stated desire for a "set" lineup and for a lefty run producer in the middle of the order...
1. Matt Murton gets optioned to Iowa where he will get regular playing time;
2. Jacque Jones goes into the Friendly Confines Witness Protection Program until Hendry can trade him;
3. Cliff Floyd (if he can stay healthy) plays RF and hits 4th or 5th most every day--LHP or RHP, doesn't matter--until further notice.
4. Angel Pagan serves as the defensive replacement in RF whenever the Cubs are trying to protect a lead late in a game.