Cubs call up pitcher, option Candelario


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Mark Rebilas - USA Today Sports

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today recalled right-handed pitcher Pierce Johnson from Triple-A Iowa and optioned infielder Jeimer Candelario to Triple-A.

Johnson, who will wear uniform number 48, joins the first major league roster of his career and will be available for the Cubs tonight as they continue their three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.

Johnson, 26, was originally selected by the Cubs in the compensation round (43rd overall) of the 2012 Draft. He has gone 28-19 with four saves and a 3.10 ERA (139 ER/404.0 IP) in 99 career minor league appearances, including 73 starts and 26 relief appearances, covering six professional campaigns. He saw 62 of his first 65 pro outings come as a starter through the 2015 campaign before reaching Triple-A Iowa in 2016, where he has seen 23 of his 34 outings occur in relief, including all 12 appearances this season.

The six-foot-three, 200-pound righthander is 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA (5 ER/14.0 IP) in 12 outings with Iowa this season. Johnson has struck out 21 batters in 14.0 innings pitched, an average of 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Since transitioning to the Iowa bullpen in late July of 2016, Johnson has gone 5-0 with a 3.22 ERA (13 ER/36.1 IP).

Johnson is a graduate of Faith Christian Academy in Arvada, CO and attended Missouri State University. He was ranked by Baseball America among the Cubs Top 10 prospects in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and was added to the 40-man roster following the 2015 campaign.

Candelario, 23, is batting .340 (33-for-97) with 12 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 22 RBI in 28 games for Iowa this season. He is hitting .143 (3-for-21) with a double and two RBI in six big league games with the Cubs.

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