NEW YORK – The Cubs made a flurry of roster moves Friday afternoon, notably designating outfielder Clint Frazier for assignment.
“We haven’t been able to give him real opportunities to watch him succeed right now,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Some tough decisions. We think a lot of Clint and his abilities.”
The move freed up the 40-man roster spot the Cubs needed to reinstate reliever Chris Martin from the restricted list – Martin started on the bereavement list and was transferred when he reached the seven-day maximum.
“He was upset,” Ross said when asked how Frazier took the news. “Emotional would be a good word. I think he likes it here a lot. I think he believes in his baseball skills, which we do, too. It’s just one of those really tough decisions we have to make sometimes, which stink.”
Frazier, who the Cubs signed this winter, has only had 45 plate appearances this season. He struggled at the plate to start the season and then had appendicitis, which sidelined him for over a month. When Frazier returned, it was in a right-field platoon with Jason Heyward.
The other two outfield spots were solidified, with left fielder Ian Happ and rookie center fielder Christopher Morel putting together strong all-around seasons.
”I’ve been feeling really good at the plate,” Frazier told the Sun-Times this week. ”I’m really hoping I can get some more at-bats here soon because I want to play.”
Case in point, Frazier went 5-for-16 at the plate after coming back from appendicitis, largely serving as a pinch hitter.
“He’s worked his tail off and did nothing but be a great teammate here,” Ross said. “All the players like him, the coaches like him a lot. … We hope we get to keep him. But I don’t know if that’s going to be a possibility or not.”
Asked if the organization still had a relationship with Frazier that would make him want to stay if he happened to clear waivers, Ross said he’d hope so.
“I think he also has some life decisions that he wants to look at,” Ross said.
The Cubs also activated lefty Wade Miley (left shoulder strain), catcher Yan Gomes (left oblique strain) and infielder Jonathan Villar (mouth injury) off the injured list.
In corresponding moves, they placed right-hander Marcus Stroman (right shoulder inflammation) on the 15-day IL and optioned reliever Michael Rucker and reliever Alfonso Rivas to Triple-A.