Dan Hamilton - USA Today Sports
Dan Hamilton - USA Today Sports

Cubs make several roster moves


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ST. LOUIS – The Chicago Cubs today added right-handed pitcher David Phelps and infielder/outfielder Tony Kemp to the 25-man roster. Right-handed pitcher Duane Underwood Jr. was optioned to Triple-A Iowa following last night’s game. Phelps, who will wear uniform number 37, and Kemp, who will wear uniform number 21, will both be available for tonight’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Phelps, 32, was acquired yesterday along with a cash consideration from the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league right-handed pitcher Thomas Hatch.

Phelps has posted no record with four holds and a 3.63 ERA (7 ER/17.1 IP) in 17 appearances with Toronto this season. He has limited foes to a .222 batting average (14-for-63), including a .217 mark vs. left-handed hitters and a .225 mark vs. right-handed hitters, and has posted a 1.21 WHIP. Phelps began the season on the injured list as he continued his recovery from 2018 Tommy John surgery that led to him missing all of last year.

The righthander made his first big league appearance of this season on June 17 and posted a 2.16 ERA (4 ER/16.2 IP) with a .190 batting average against through his first 16 outings before allowing three runs in 0.2 innings on Sunday vs. Tampa Bay, his final outing with Toronto.

Overall, Phelps is 30-33 with 58 holds, five saves and a 3.88 ERA (246 ER/571.0 IP) in 245 major league appearances (65 starts) covering all or part of seven major league campaigns with the New York Yankees (2012-14), Miami (2015-17), Seattle (2017) and Toronto (2019). He saw 59 of his first 110 big league outings occur as a starter from 2012-15 before seeing 59 of 64 outings come in relief in 2016 as he turned in a career year with Miami, going 7-6 with 25 holds, four saves and a 2.28 ERA (22 ER/86.2 IP).

Kemp, 27, was acquired earlier today from the Houston Astros for catcher Martín Maldonado.

Kemp is a career .240 hitter (138-for-575) with 26 doubles, five triples, 14 home runs, 58 RBI and a .697 OPS in 239 games covering all or part of the last four seasons with Houston (2016-19). The left-handed hitter turned in his strongest season to date last year when he hit .263 (67-for-255) with 15 doubles, six home runs, a .351 on-base percentage and .392 slugging percentage, good for a .743 OPS, in 97 games with the Astros, posting a similar .268 batting average vs. left-handed pitchers and a .261 batting average vs. right-handed pitching.

The versatile Kemp has seen action at second base (29 games), left field (14 games) and center field (11 games) this season and batted .227 (37-for-163) with seven homers, 17 RBI and a .725 OPS in 66 games with Houston before being designated for assignment on July 26.

Underwood, 25, is 2-5 with a 5.23 ERA (43 ER/74.0 IP) in 28 games (10 starts) for Iowa with 38 walks and 85 strikeouts in 74.0 innings. Since moving to the bullpen in late May, he has posted a 3.04 ERA (9 ER/26.2 IP) and limited opponents to a .228 average in 18 outings.

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