The Chicago Cubs announced a slew of roster moves on Friday, including placing right-hander Marcus Stroman on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. Arguably the Cubs’ other most notable transaction involved them designating outfielder Clint Frazier for assignment, thereby ending his stay in Chicago after 19 games.
Frazier, 27 years old, didn’t perform well in those contests. In 45 plate appearances, he batted .216/.356/.297 (87 OPS+) with no home runs and three doubles. Frazier had been placed on the injured list in April because of appendicitis. He returned to the active roster in late May, but he had started just twice for the Cubs during the month of June.
The Cubs signed Frazier over the offseason with the hope that giving him a fresh start could allow him to return to the form he displayed earlier in his career, when he posted a 124 OPS+ over the course of the 2018-20 seasons as a member of the New York Yankees. Clearly they were not convinced that such a possibility remained realistic.
Of course, it didn’t help Frazier’s case that the Cubs have shown a willingness to play rookie Christopher Morel in center field. Since arriving in the majors in mid-May, Morel has performed admirably, to the extent that he’ll enter the weekend with a 153 OPS+. The Cubs also have Ian Happ, Rafael Ortega, and Jason Heyward on their active roster. Seiya Suzuki, who the Cubs signed from Japan to a five-year contract worth $85 million, remains sidelined with a sprained finger.
As part of the aforementioned flurry of roster moves, the Cubs activated veteran backstop Yan Gomes, infielder Jonathan Villar, starter Wade Miley, and reliever Chris Martin. Utility player Alfonso Rivas and reliever Michael Rucker were the other players to lose their spots in corresponding moves, with both being optioned down to Triple-A Iowa.