Cubs add needed bullpen help in second round of draft

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein gives a closing news conference for the season at Wrigley Field, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, in Chicago.

    Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein gives a closing news conference for the season at Wrigley Field, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, in Chicago. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 6/11/2020 9:37 PM

The game has stopped, but the concern remains for the Cubs.

Bulking up the bullpen.

 

After losing established relievers Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler, Pedro Strop and David Phelps after the 2019 season, the Cubs rolled the dice while adding Jeremy Jeffress and an unproven group of potential replacements like Ryan Tepera, Dan Winkler and Trevor Megill.

Thrilled to have landed electric shortstop Ed Howard -- a Mount Carmel High School product -- in the first round of the draft Wednesday night, the Cubs grabbed Burl Carraway in the second round Thursday.

Carraway made 8 relief appearances for Dallas Baptist University this season before the coronavirus pandemic halted play. It was a short, but sweet, showing.

The 21-year-old lefty was 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 5 saves. Carraway also had 17 strikeouts and 6 walks in 9⅓ innings.

Like everyone else, Carraway is now going to play the waiting game and it remains to be seen when he's going to be able to get back on the mound.

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Could Carraway be a part of the Cubs' expanded roster if, as expected, baseball returns this summer with an abbreviated season?

According to Baseball America's scouting report, it's not impossible.

"The top college reliever in the class, Carraway has explosive stuff from the left side and, depending on the day, looks like he could be a late-inning reliever for an MLB club right now," Baseball America wrote. "A wiry athlete standing at 6-foot, 173 pounds, Carraway explodes off the rubber and uses his lower half extremely well, with a fast arm and crossfiring action in his delivery that adds to his deception.

"He pairs a fastball that's regularly in the 96-98 mph range with spotty control, which makes it easy to see why hitters are always uncomfortable in the box against him. That's especially true for lefties, who struck out in 33 of 64 (52.5%) plate appearances against Carraway in 2019."

After drafting Michigan outfielder Jordan Nwogu in the third round, the Cubs took a big left-hander in the fourth.

Pitching at San Jacinto Junior College the last two seasons, Luke Little was committed to South Carolina next year. He's now very likely headed for professional baseball.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The 6-foot-8, 225-pounder had 17 strikeouts and 3 walks in 9 innings this spring while dealing with some early back soreness.

Last summer, Little pitched for Traverse City in the Northwoods League and was 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA to go with 22 strikeouts in 12⅓ innings.

In the fifth, and final, round, the Cubs drafted pitcher Koen Moreno from Panther Creek (N.C.) High School.

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