The Cubs officially announced Wednesday that they have selected right-handed pitcher Luke Farrell from Triple-A Iowa. In order to make room on the active and 40-man rosters, they optioned right-handed pitcher Anderson Espinoza to Triple-A Iowa and transferred right-handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks to the 60-day injured list.
In another set of corresponding moves, the Cubs recalled right-handed pitcher Kervin Castro from Iowa and placed left-handed pitcher Steven Brault on the 15-day injured list with a left shoulder strain. Additionally, right-handed pitcher Nicholas Padilla was returned to Triple-A Iowa following Tuesday’s game.
Farrell (uniform No. 60) will make his 2022 Cubs debut and start Wednesday’s game against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. The 31-year-old is 3-4 with a 5.03 ERA in 17 games (11 starts) for Triple-A Iowa this season. He has struck out 49 with 28 walks over 59 innings.
Farrell made 20 appearances (one start) with the Twins last season, compiling a 4.74 ERA and striking out 25 batters. He also played for the Cubs during the 2018 season, where he recorded a 3-4 record with a 5.17 ERA in 20 games (two starts) after being selected off waivers from the Reds. This feels like little more than a stopgap, particularly with so many young pitchers waiting in the wings.
Castro, 23, begins his second stint with the Cubs this season after being claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants August 2. He was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on August 23 after compiling a 0-1 record with an 8.22 ERA in six relief appearances for the Cubs. All told, he owns an 11.57 ERA (12 ER/9.1 IP) in eight appearances with the Giants and Cubs this year.
Hendrick was 4-6 with a 4.80 ERA in 16 starts this season, but hasn’t pitched since July 5 with a right shoulder strain. He revealed recently that a capsular tear in that shoulder had stalled his rehab to the point that he is still several weeks away from starting a throwing program.
Brault has posted a 3.00 ERA in nine outings out of the bullpen for Chicago in 2022. He tossed seven straight scoreless outings to begin his season, which started late due to injury and was previously put on hold due to a stay on the COVID IL.
Espinoza is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in seven relief appearances for the Cubs this season.