Cubs DFA Frank Schwindel, Sean Newcomb Amid Flurry of Roster Moves

The Cubs made a series of roster moves Saturday morning, the most notable of which may be designating Frank Schwindel for assignment. Schwindel was easily one of the best stories to rise from the debris of the 2021 season, stepping up as a fan favorite after the trades that dismantled the roster. He simply wasn’t able to back to anything resembling last year’s production, however, and the Cubs have got other options at first.

That DFA opened a spot on the roster for Adbert Alzolay, who has been reinstated from the 60-day IL to make his season debut out of the bullpen this weekend. Okay, it was actually Sean Newcomb being designated that opened up a spot for Alzolay.

The Schwindel move actually opened up a spot for second baseman Esteban Quiroz, who had his contract selected from Triple-A Iowa. The diminutive infielder — Quiroz stands 5-6 at a stout 199 pounds — came over from the Reds in the Harold Ramirez trade this spring and is batting .212 with a .680 OPS in 118 plate appearances.

Most of you probably have one of two questions: Why would the Cubs call up a dude with those numbers? and/or Why not Matt Mervis? Both valid questions, both with answers that have next to nothing to do with talent or production. Like Jared Young being called up earlier in the week or Trent Giambrone late last year, this is more a matter of the Cubs adding a player to the 40-man who isn’t likely to stick there.

They’re more certain to get those guys through waivers when they’re subsequently DFA’d, so decisions like this don’t have the permanence of adding Mervis or another potential regular. That said, Mash looks more and more like a legit impact hitter all the time and it would be cool for the Cubs to reward one of their two Minor League Player of the Year frontrunners with a promotion.

The Cubs have also placed Seiya Suzuki on paternity leave, which clears another spot on the active roster for the time being.

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