Cubs Add Allen Webster from AAA to Provide Bullpen Depth

In a move that had been widely speculated once Brandon Morrow was shut down for the season, the Cubs selected righty Allen Webster from Triple-A Iowa. A veteran of 120.1 MLB innings and several hundred more with various minor league affiliates and foreign leagues, Webster offers the Cubs a little depth as they head down the home stretch.

Signed to a minor league deal this past March, the 28-year-old pitched 17 innings over 17 outings between Rookie League Mesa, Double-A Tennessee, and Iowa. He posted a combined 2.65 ERA and struck out 24 while walking only three. Those latter stats are interesting because Webster has never been known for either strikeouts or control.

But as the axiom goes, development isn’t linear. Perhaps he’s picked something up along the way, whether it’s a new grip on the breaking ball or a few ticks on the heater. Increased velo might be a legit possibility, as Cubs Den’s Michael Ernst cites a 95-97 mph fastball that’s significantly higher than the 93 mph shown for him from 2015.

Some of that could simply be the changes in how velo is measured, but it’s entirely possible that Webster has made adjustments that allow him to throw harder. Regardless, the Cubs felt strongly enough about his potential that they blazed him through the organization despite a late start to the season and having not pitched in the majors in three years.

In order to make room for Webster on the 40-man roster, Morrow was moved to the 60-day DL. Webster will be available Wednesday night against his old team and a grudge match might become a reality if the Cubs once again put up some crooked numbers.

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