Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports
Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports

Cubs make several roster moves

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HOUSTON – The Chicago Cubs today recalled right-handed pitcher Jeremiah Estrada from Triple-A Iowa and placed right-handed pitcher Brad Boxberger on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to May 14) with a right forearm strain. Additionally, the club selected right-handed pitcher Nick Burdi from Iowa, optioned right-handed pitcher Hayden Wesneski to Iowa and transferred right-handed pitcher Adrian Sampson to the 60-day injured list.

Estrada, 24, is in his second stint with the Cubs this season, after tossing 4.0 scoreless innings in three relief appearances from April 21-May 3. The righthander has posted a 0.96 ERA (1 ER/9.1 IP) in eight appearances out of the bullpen for Iowa this year, with six hits, four walks and 12 strikeouts. With the I-Cubs, he has limited opponents to a .176 batting average (6-for-34) and posted a 1.07 WHIP.

Since his major league debut August 30, 2022, Estrada has pitched to a 1.86 ERA (2 ER/9.2 IP) with 14 strikeouts in eight career major league relief appearances. Last year between High-A South Bend, Double-A Tennessee and Iowa, he went 3-2 with a 1.30 ERA (7 ER/48.1 IP), nine saves and five holds in 34 games out of the bullpen. Estrada struck out 78 of 193 batters faced, compared to 20 walks, for an average of 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

A native of Coachella, Calif., Estrada was selected in the sixth round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of Palm Desert (Calif.) High School. In all or part of five minor league seasons, he is 4-4 with nine saves and a 1.84 ERA (20 ER/97.2 IP) in 60 games, all but three as a reliever. He has walked 42 and struck out 149, good for an average of 13.5 strikeouts per 9.0 innings.

Burdi, 30, in 11 relief outings for Iowa in 2023 has pitched to a 3.38 ERA (4 ER/10.2 IP) with four saves and 19 strikeouts, good for an average of 16.0 strikeouts per 9.0 IP. He has held opponents scoreless in nine of his 11 games this season and recorded two-plus strikeouts in seven of those outings. The right-handed pitcher was a non-roster invitee to Chicago’s major league Spring Training after being selected by the Cubs from San Diego in the minor league portion of the 2022 Rule 5 Draft.

A second round selection in the 2014 draft by Minnesota, the six-foot four-inch Burdi has appeared in 16 career major league games, all in relief with the Pirates from 2018-20, pitching to a 9.49 ERA (13 ER/12.1 IP) with one save. The righthander owns a 10-8 record with a 3.44 ERA (48 ER/125.2 IP) and 14 saves in 101 career minor league games in the Minnesota (2014-17), Pittsburgh (2018-20) and Cubs (2023) organizations. Burdi missed the 2021 and 2022 seasons after recovering from Tommy John surgery and a subsequent right elbow sprain.

Boxberger, 34, is 0-1 with a 5.52 ERA (9 ER/14.2 IP) in 17 games out of the bullpen for Chicago this season. The righthander signed a one-year contract with the Cubs in December 2022.

Wesneski, 25, is 2-2 with a 5.03 ERA (22 ER/39.1 IP) in eight starts for the Cubs this season, having walked nine with 28 strikeouts and 10 home runs allowed.

Sampson, 31, has posted an 8.64 ERA (8 ER/8.1 IP) in two starts with Iowa this season. He was recalled and placed on the 15-day injured list with a right meniscus injury May 4.

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