Sveum believes call-up rule needs tweaking
For the last couple of games, the Cubs and the Miami Marlins combined to have 22 relief pitchers available, 11 for each team.
Welcome to September, when teams are able to expand their active rosters from 25 to 40.
No teams carry 40, but the Cubs have added seven September call-ups or disabled-list activations, giving them 32.
With extra pitchers available, managers are able to gain favorable left-right matchups virtually at will. This presents a potentially unfair situation to contending teams fighting for playoff spots because opponents aren't exhausting their bullpens.
Baseball is unique among the major sports in expanding its rosters, in a key month no less. For years, some managers have suggested that teams be allowed to carry the extra players, but designate a group of 25 that can play in any one game.
"I do think there needs to be a cap on it," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum. "I think there needs to be a cap some way, however they want to work it, certain amount of relievers, certain amount of position players.
"I think it just gets to the point where teams can call up so many guys and can mix and match and do things, and another team might not have called up as many guys and they can't quite counter the moves and stuff like that. I've always thought there should be some kind of cap on it."
A young boy sitting in the stands behind and to the left of home plate was hit by a bat let loose by the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton in the sixth inning. The boy was rushed downstairs for medical attention, and the Cubs reported the boy and his family returned to watch the game.
"Oh, yeah, that's a tough little kid right there," said Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija. "It didn't hit anything but -- I hate to say it -- his jaw. It went right into his face. They got him out of there. It's tough to see, and it looked like he was doing all right, so he'll have a good story for the rest of his life: He took a bat to the face and walked away from it. That was weird to see."
Added Stanton: "That's obviously something you never want to have happen. It's not like I hit a ball out there, so I actually did something half right. I completely let go. Thank goodness he's all right. The way his dad carried him off looked like the worst."
Reliever Michael Bowden found himself designated for assignment by the Cubs for a second time this year as they selected the contract of right-handed reliever Chang-Yong Lim from Class AAA Iowa.
Bowden, a graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School, made the opening-day roster only to be designated May 21 and assigned to Iowa. He came back July 11.
"That's part of the game," he said. "You got to go out there and pitch. I wasn't necessarily happy with my performance, but I've been through this a few times before. It's no big deal. I love playing here, playing for the city of Chicago and the fans here and my hometown team."
The Cubs also designated outfielder Cole Gillespie for assignment when they claimed right-handed pitcher Daniel Bard off waivers from Boston.