MILWAUKEE — If you could possibly keep track, the Cubs last year used a club-record 53 players during their 61-101 season.
The revolving door kept spinning Friday as they claimed outfielder Julio Borbon off waivers from the Texas Rangers. To make room, they designated infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment.
The 27-year-old Borbon has a career hitting line of .283/.324/.358 with 16 doubles, 7 triples, 7 homers and 73 RBI in 216 big-league games. He was hitless in 1 at-bat with the Rangers this year before being designated for assignment April 9. He spent all of last year at Class AAA Round Rock, with a line of .304/.349/.433 with 10 homers and 56 RBI.
“It’s another way to get the organization stronger in athletes, a left-handed hitter, a guy who can play every outfield position,” manager Dale Sveum said. “He can run. He drives the ball. The roster is probably not going to be the same roster a week from now.”
The addition of Borbon leaves the Cubs crowded in the outfield and thin in the infield. As of now, Cody Ransom is the lone backup infielder. The Cubs still are awaiting third baseman Ian Stewart, who is at Class AAA Iowa on a rehab stint as he recovers from a left-quad strain.
The Cubs also said infielder Brent Lillibridge has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Iowa. Lillibridge was on the opening-day roster. Since then, the Cubs have had a steady stream of comings and goings, including adding relievers Kevin Gregg and Kameron Loe this week.
Right-hander Matt Garza threw a short simulated game Friday at Miller Park.
“Everything was coming out of his hand (well),” said Dale Svuem. “He was a little rusty being on the mound with hitters out there.
“Other than that, he felt great. The slider was a little off. The curveball was good. The fastball had a lot of life, not a lot of pinpoint (control). That’s just the first step to get out there.”
Garza will throw a bullpen session Sunday. He will go to Class AA Tennessee and throw about 45 pitches Wednesday. He will need 4, and possibly 5, starts (including Friday’s sim game) before he returns, possibly for the series against Colorado, May 13-15.
“Everything went good, just getting back in the swing of things,” Garza said. “I felt good, was excited. I look forward to Sunday.”
Garza is on the mend from a left-lat-muscle injury, suffered in February.
Closer Kyuji Fujikawa played catch from up to 75 feet Friday at Wrigley Field as he recovers from a right-forearm strain. He went on the DL April 13 and may need a short rehab stint before being reactivated.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.