Cubs make several roster moves

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Dennis Wierzbicki - USA Today Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki - USA Today Sports

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Justin Hancock from Triple-A Iowa and recalled outfielder Mark Zagunis from Triple-A. Right-handed pitcher Jen-Ho Tseng and left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny have been optioned to Triple-A. Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 40 players.

Both Hancock, who joins the first major league roster of his career and will wear uniform number 54, and Zagunis (#20) will be available for the Cubs today as they conclude their three-game series against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field.

Hancock, 27, has gone 2-2 with a 3.77 ERA (6 ER/14.1 IP) in 11 relief outings with Iowa this year, including 5.2 scoreless frames over his last four outings. He has struck out 19 batters in 14.1 innings pitched, an average of 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings, while limiting foes to a .250 batting average, including a .206 mark by right-handed hitters.

The righthander was acquired by the Cubs from San Diego May 8, 2017 for outfielder Matt Szczur. Hancock combined to go 2-4 with four saves and a 4.46 ERA (19 ER/38.1 IP) in 33 relief outings between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa last year. He was a non-roster invitee to Chicago’s major league spring training in 2018.

Hancock was originally selected by San Diego in the ninth round of the 2011 Draft out of Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill. A native of Defiance, Ohio, Hancock is 28-35 with four saves and a 3.94 ERA (234 ER/534.1 IP) in 160 career minor league appearances, including 90 as a starter, in eight minor league seasons in the Padres and Cubs organizations.

Zagunis, 25, joins the Cubs for the first time this season after batting .298 (28-for-94) with four doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI in 29 games with Iowa this season. He has a .412 on-base percentage (114 points above his batting average) and a .436 slugging percentage this year, good for an .848 OPS, recording nearly as many walks (17) as strikeouts (18). Zagunis is batting .329 (24-for-73) with a .963 OPS vs. right-handed pitching this year.

The right-handed batter and thrower was selected by the Cubs in the third round of the 2014 Draft out of Virginia Tech and has batted .279 (392-for-1,407) with a .403 on-base percentage and .842 OPS in 399 minor league games covering the last five seasons.

Tseng, 23, made the start for the Cubs last night (3 ER/2.0 IP) and recorded a no-decision in Chicago’s 4-3 win. He is 0-4 with an 8.04 ERA (28 ER/31.1 IP) in six starts with Iowa this year.

Zastryzny, 26, pitched two scoreless innings in last night’s win vs. Miami. He has gone 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA (4 ER/15.1 IP) in eight relief outings with Iowa this year.

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