In a move that had been widely speculated once Brandon Morrow was shut down for the season, the Cubs selected righty Allen Webster from Triple-A Iowa. A veteran of 120.1 MLB innings and several hundred more with various minor league affiliates and foreign leagues, Webster offers the Cubs a little depth as they head down the home stretch.
Signed to a minor league deal this past March, the 28-year-old pitched 17 innings over 17 outings between Rookie League Mesa, Double-A Tennessee, and Iowa. He posted a combined 2.65 ERA and struck out 24 while walking only three. Those latter stats are interesting because Webster has never been known for either strikeouts or control.
Look, I won't claim Allen Webster is a potential savior, but with Morrow done and a 40-man spot up for grabs, you can't tell me this 95-97 MPH fastball, low-90s slider, and high-80s changeup wouldn't be a help in the #Cubs bullpen down the stretch. He's a vet. He finished strong. pic.twitter.com/3ZMCXwO1Ne
— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst) September 19, 2018
Some of that could simply be the changes in how velo is measured, but it’s entirely possible that Webster has made adjustments that allow him to throw harder. Regardless, the Cubs felt strongly enough about his potential that they blazed him through the organization despite a late start to the season and having not pitched in the majors in three years.
In order to make room for Webster on the 40-man roster, Morrow was moved to the 60-day DL. Webster will be available Wednesday night against his old team and a grudge match might become a reality if the Cubs once again put up some crooked numbers.