The Cubs could have gone several routes to pick a pitcher to start one of the games in Saturday's day-night doubleheader.
Veteran Carlos Villanueva was one option, but the Cubs chose to go with right-hander Dallas Beeler, who will be called up from Class AAA Iowa. It will be Beeler's major-league debut.
The Cubs also have prospects Kyle Hendricks and Eric Jokisch at Iowa.
"All the guys showed very well in spring, I thought," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria. "They had tremendous composure. Their ability to go out there and just throw strikes was pretty impressive. I think he's a kid that everybody's looking forward to having an opportunity to come out here and show what he can do. We're glad to have him.
"With having the doubleheader, you have an opportunity to go ahead and add another pitcher. We just thought that it would be best to bring somebody who has been starting right now, even though Villa has started. It doesn't hurt us to have Beels come up here and be seen and put his efforts forward for us at this particular time."
Beeler, 25, was as 41st-round draft pick in 2010 out of Oral Roberts and Seminole State College. This year at Iowa, he is 5-3 with a 4.03 ERA and a WHIP of 1.18. In 60⅓ innings, he has walked 15 and struck out 43.
Just about Manny time:
Former big-league slugger Manny Ramirez will be activated Thursday by Iowa and be available for the I-Cubs' doubleheader at Colorado Springs.
The Cubs signed the 42-year-old Ramirez to be a player-coach at Iowa. He has been working out at the organization's spring facility in Mesa, Arizona.
Next Monday, the I-Cubs will hold a news conference with Ramirez in Des Moines after they return home from their road trip.
The Cubs have said Ramirez is not an option for the big-league club and that he will play part time for Iowa while assisting the team's younger hitters as a coach.
To make room for Ramirez, the Cubs released outfielder Casper Wells, who went to spring training with the big club as a nonroster player.
Rick Renteria burned through four relief pitchers in Tuesday night's eighth inning. He was asked if he would consider moving a reliever to the outfield for one batter and then bringing him back in to pitch to a subsequent batter, as former Cubs manager Lou Piniella did with Sean Marshall in 2009.
"Oh yeah, I thought about it," he said. "I haven't done it yet, but I've talked about it all season. It is a conversation I've had with some of my coaches about things like that."