Jeff Vorva at The Daily Southtown reports
that sources are claiming the Cubs will call-up 24-year LHP Carmen Pignatiello
from AAA before tonight's game at Wrigley Field versus CIN, and that RHP Sean Gallagher
will be optioned to Iowa, where he can get regular work as a rotation starter.
Pignatiello was named Illinois Baseball Player of the Year by Gatorade and the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year in 2000, as he went 14-0 with a 0.79 ERA for Providence Catholic HS in New Lenox, before being selected by the Cubs in the 20th Round of the 2000 Rule 4 Draft. Tiggy led the Florida State League in strikeouts while pitching for the Daytona Cubs in 2003.
The Cubs have been operating with one lefty in the pen (Scott Eyre
) since Will Ohman
was optioned to Iowa a week ago.
As you can see by his stats at Iowa, Pignatiello is not just a LOOGY, but he is in fact more effective against left-handed hitters (.163 Opp BA and 0.80 WHIP) than he is versus right-handed hitters (.245 Opp BA and 1.28 WHIP).
In his last eight appearances, Pignatiello has thrown 8.0 IP, allowing one run on six hits and one BB, while striking out eight.
Tiggy is eligible to be a minor league FA on October 15th if he isn't added to the 40-man roster by that date, so doing it now merely keeps the Cubs from further postponing the inevitable.
Pignatiello was eligible to be a six-year minor league FA after the 2006 season, too, but he opted to re-up with AAA Iowa after getting a Cubs slot in the Arizona Fall League and an NRI to Spring Training.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Pignatiello, I would think the Cubs will likely transfer injured catcher Henry Blanco
(neck) to the 60-day DL. Since Blanco has already spent 60+ days on the 15-day DL (and since time spent on the 15-day DL counts toward time spent on the 60), he can be reactivated at any time.
UPDATE FROM ROB: Jake Fox is on his way up too
, no word on the corresponding roster move.