16:09: The Cubs officially selected Newcomb’s contract heading into Game 2. David Boat he was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to clear the necessary spot on the active roster.
11:22: Before today’s doubleheader against the Cardinals, the Cubs announced a few roster changes to reporters, including Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago. Left handed matt dermody he has had his contract selected and will serve as the club’s “27th man” during the twin bill. lefty partner Sean Newcomb you will also have your contract selected to start the second game. Neither player was on the 40-man roster unveiled today, though trade deadline moves left the Cubs at 37, meaning no corresponding moves will be required. However, an active roster spot will need to be created for Newcomb between games.
Newcomb, 29, was once a highly touted prospect with Atlanta and pitched well for them during the 2017-2019 period. In that time, he pitched 332 1/3 innings with a 3.87 ERA, 23% strikeout rate, 11.6% walk rate and 44.7% ground ball rate. However, he had a miserable 2020 and then was moved to the bullpen in 2021, but hasn’t really regained his former form since then. Atlanta designated him for assignment in April and then sent him to the Cubs, who were likely hoping for a comeback.
He didn’t last long with the Cubs, being designated for assignment and later cut after approving waivers. Since then, he has been pitching well in the minors and has stretched himself in the process. He has pitched 24 Triple-A innings with a 3.38 ERA, 30.7% strikeout rate and 44.9% ground ball rate, albeit with a terrifying 17.8% walk rate. His outings have gradually increased as the season has progressed, recording four innings in each of his last two appearances.
It’s possible that this is just a punctual start for Newcomb to help cover the doubleheader. He has no options and cannot be sent back to the minors afterward. Although if he clings to a spot on the roster, he may be retained beyond this campaign through arbitration.
Dermody, 32, has 29 games of MLB experience under his belt, most of which were with the Blue Jays in 2017. Since then, he has only one major league appearance, which was with the Cubs in 2020. He spent last year with the Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball before returning to sign a minor league contract with the Cubs in January. Although he was primarily a reliever for most of his career, the Cubs have given him some extension in the minors this year. He made 13 starts and seven relief appearances at Triple-A on the season, logging 79 1/3 innings with a 3.74 ERA, 20.3% strikeout rate, 5.2% walk rate and 51.2% ground ball rate. Unlike Newcomb, he has options and could be sent back to serve as depth at Triple-A.