Cubs Upgrade Bullpen With Addition Of David Phelps
The Cubs upgraded their bullpen on the eve of the trading deadline by acquiring David Phelps from the Blue Jays in exchange for Double-A righthander Thomas Hatch. Phelps missed all of 2018 with Tommy John surgery and signed a one-year contract with Toronto before this season.
Phelps joins a Cubs bullpen that entered the day ranked 10th in the majors with a 4.22 ERA and received a recent boost with the addition of Craig Kimbrel.
David Phelps, RHP
A part-time starter for the first few seasons of his career, Phelps moved to the bullpen full-time in 2016 and proved to be an effective weapon, averaging double-digit strikeouts per nine innings in his new role. He’s shown similar success this year with the Blue Jays, albeit in limited time, and will fit into the middle of the Cubs’ bullpen, which has racked up the third-fewest strikeouts in the big leagues.
BLUE JAYS ACQUIRE
Thomas Hatch, RHP
Hatch was the Cubs’ third-round selection in 2016 out of Oklahoma, where he found success using mainly a two-seamer and a slider. He worked a four-seamer into his mix in 2018 and was hit hard at Double-A Tennessee, where he’s returned in 2019. His changeup, which was below-average last year, still needs to come along for him to remain a starter. If he moves to the bullpen, he’s likely to fit in somewhere in the middle innings.