Cubs Add Estrada to 40-Man, Recall Bote as Rosters Expand

September roster expansion isn’t quite the same as it used to be back in the day when the dugout would be overflowing as teams added a dozen or so more players for the stretch run. Now it’s just two players, which seems like way too few for a Cubs organization that could really use a long look at several different prospects. Between the extended minor league schedules and having only two additional spots on the big league roster, those looks will be limited.

One player who has earned a spotlight over the next few weeks is righty reliever Jeremiah Estrada, whose 80-grade fastball wowed onlookers in his Tuesday debut. The 23-year-old considers himself lucky to be alive, let alone still pitching, and he appears to be making the most of his second or third chances. In a series of procedural moves, Estrada was returned to Iowa as a replacement player and then added to the 40-man and recalled.

In order to make room on the roster, Wade Miley was transferred to the 60-day injured list. Between Miley, Kyle Hendricks, and Alec Mills, the Cubs have now placed three would-be rotation members on the longer IL recently.

Brendon Little made his MLB debut shortly before Estrada and was likewise returned to Iowa without any additional moves. Adrian Sampson and Justin Steele have been reinstated from the restricted list now that the Cubs have left Toronto and the former is set to start Friday against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

David Bote has been recalled to take the 28th spot on the active roster after spending the last three weeks with Triple-A Iowa. Bote batted .224 with a .659 and homered three times in 76 at-bats for the I-Cubs during his demotion.

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