Friday, May 17, 2024

Cubs Option Their Worst Reliever to Triple-A


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The Chicago Cubs have optioned their worst reliever to Triple-A prior to Friday’s series opener against the Seattle Mariners. Right-handed reliever Jose Cuas has been demoted after his brutal start to the 2024 season.

According to the team’s official transactions page on, Cuas was sent down to the Iowa Cubs on Thursday.

The Cubs acquired Cuas at last year’s deadline, trading right-handed hitting outfielder Nelson Velazquez to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for the pitcher. Cuas put up good results in the final couple of months with the Cubs, ending the season with a 3.04 ERA in 23.2 innings. However, his lasting memories in 2023 were bad, as Cuas allowed 7 earned runs in 11.2 innings during the month of September.

Those struggles have continued in 2024, but sparking Monday’s historic collapse against the San Diego Padres might have been the final straw for Craig Counsell and the Cubs. Cuas came in during the sixth inning after Javier Assad pitched five innings and gave up two runs. The Cubs had an 8-2 lead when Cuas entered the game and by the time he exited the Padres cut the lead down to 8-5 and had a runner on base after Cuas only recorded one out while surrendering four hits.

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Cuas was ultimately charged with four earned runs. He pitched again on Wednesday in mop-up-duty and allowed another earned run. That was the fourth straight appearance in which Cuas gave up at least one run this year. His lone scoreless outing was in the second game of the season, tossing 1.1 perfect innings against the Texas Rangers, coming into action with the Cubs down 5-2 in the middle innings.

So, look out for the Cubs to announce a corresponding move ahead of their game on Friday against the Mariners to replace Cuas in the bullpen.

While Cuas has been bad, he’s unfortunately not alone. Through the team’s first 12 games, the Cubs’ bullpen ranks 22nd in MLB with a 5.09 ERA. As a group, the bullpen is averaging nearly 5 walks per 9 innings, which is fourth worst in the league. After Monday’s meltdown, the Cubs now have four blown saves, which is tied for most in baseball.

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