DENVER – The Cubs made a pair of corresponding roster moves to put right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. on the roster before his start against the Rockies on Saturday.
To open a spot on the active roster for Leiter, the Cubs optioned first baseman/outfielder Alfonso Rivas to Triple-A after the Cubs’ 6-5 loss at Coors Field on Friday. Rivas, who debuted last year, has recorded a hit in each of the games he’s appeared in this season, going 2-for-4.
“The first thing I say when those things happen is, ‘This sucks, for all of us,'” Cubs manager David Ross said of breaking the news to Rivas. “It’s just part of the options game, when you’ve got to make a move for a pitcher. Those things happen throughout the season, it’s never good news.
“The guy swings the bat well, he’s very professional in his work, he’s a great defensive first baseman, gives you a quality at-bat every single time. He’s a winning player. I believe in him, he believes in himself. So, it’s just one of those, ‘Hey, go get some consistent at-bats. We’ll see you soon.'”
To make room for Leiter on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated right-hander Cory Abbott for assignment. Abbott has pitched two games in Triple-A this season, allowing a total of three runs in six innings.
In other roster news
The Cubs also acted on a clause in left-hander Locke St. John’s contract, adding him to the 40-man roster to keep him in the organization. They selected his contract from Triple-A and then optioned him to Iowa.
To make room for St. John on the roster, the Cubs designated outfielder Greg Deichmann for assignment.
Cubs southpaw Wade Miley (left elbow inflammation) threw off the mound on Saturday for the first time since the team shut him down in spring training. He tossed 15 pitches, and the Cubs will evaluate his recovery before determining next steps.
Right-hander Alec Mills (lower back strain) was scheduled to throw a bullpen Saturday in Arizona.
Both pitchers started the season on the 10-day IL, a blow to the Cubs’ rotation depth.