Cubs.com announced last evening that Casey McGehee and pitchers Chad Gaudin and Angel Guzman are expected to be sent home today as Piniella finalizes his postseason roster. Pitchers Kevin Hart and Michael Wuertz, outfielder Micah Hoffpauir, and catcher Koyie Hill will be sent to Mesa, Arizona to be activated in case an emergency replacement is needed.
A couple of these moves warrant a closer look:
It’s no surprise that Gaudin didn’t make the roster: After starting the year with a 3.59 ERA with the Oakland A’s, he posted a 6.26 ERA in only 27 innings for the Chicago Cubs in the second half of the season. Gaudin took nearly a month off with back soreness in August and September, and rejoined the Cubs in late September. “I’m [100%] ready-to-go,” he told reporters on September 21. In the next five games, he gave up seven runs over 3.3 innings. (That’s a 15.75 ERA, by the way). His contract is only through the end of the season, so his brief run as a Chicago Cub may be over. We’ll have to see.
Michael Wuertz & Kevin Hart
After three seasons in the big leagues, Wuertz was sent back to the minors in July. “Any time you get sent down, it’s disappointing,” Wuertz said.
“For the most part, it was a good thing, in a way. I got a little more
work in on a consistent basis.” Wuertz has a career 3.57 ERA in the majors, but this is the final year of his Cubs contract. The future is up in the air now, and he’ll be waiting in Mesa in case the Cubs need him in the postseason. In the minor leagues, he “served as a mentor” to Kevin Hart. Hart posted a disappointing 6.51 ERA this season when he was called up in September, but he is under contract through 2010 so Cubs fans will see him again.
Fans call him Micah “Hoff-POWER”. His .342 average and eight RBIs in a limited run with the Cubs this year indicate that the offensive explosion that fans saw from him in Spring Training was no fluke. Piniella chose outfielder Felix Pie over Hoffpauir for the postseason roster, however, primarily due to the injury to Mark DeRosa. I expected Hoffpauir to stay with the Cubs in the designated hitter/first basemen role that Daryle Ward played for 2008, but Lou had other ideas. Ward’s .216 season with a lowly 12 RBIs in 89 games leaves something to be desired, although he does have something Hoffpauir doesn’t: Postseason experience. Will that be enough?