The Cubs announced Monday afternoon that they have selected left-handed pitcher Eric Stout from Triple-A Iowa. To make room on the 40-man roster for Stout, left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb has been designated for assignment just a day after he was activated from the IL. Stout will wear uniform number 46 and is available to pitch in tonight’s game against the Padres at Wrigley Field.
The lefthander is 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA and one save in 16 games (one start) with Triple-A Iowa this season and he leads all International League relievers with 48 strikeouts in 29.2 innings (14.6 K/9). Stout frequently provides two or more innings, something the Cubs need far too often from the bullpen, and has recorded at least three strikeouts 10 times.
The 6-foot-3 southpaw signed a minor league contract with the Cubs on March 17 after splitting the 2021 season between Triple-A Jacksonville in the Miami organization and independent Kansas City of the American Association. He owns a career 23-18 record with a 4.39 ERA and 17 saves in 202 games (19 starts) in the minor leagues, but has made only three MLB appearances (all in 2019 with the Royals).
He’s got a four-seam/slider/sinker/change combo and operates within one of the smaller velocity windows you’ll ever see. His low-90’s heat doesn’t separate much from an 86 mph changeup and 83ish mph breaking ball, so he relies on creating deception with location and movement.
The Glen Ellyn, IL native was selected by the Royals in the 13th round of the 2014 Draft out of Butler University, where he played for three seasons. Stout is a 2011 graduate of St. Francis High School in Wheaton, IL.
This move felt inevitable after Newcomb was forced to wear it Sunday after in the Bronx, throwing 44 pitches over a single inning in which he allowed five earned runs on six hits and a walk. Daniel Norris gave the Cubs two innings but had to throw 58 pitches of his own to do it, then Alec Mills went 3.1 innings on 46 pitches. Between that and Friday’s extra-innings affair, fresh arms will be needed this week.
The Cubs had better hope Jesse Chavez keeps pitching well for the Braves so those cash considerations turn this into something other than a well-done nothingburger.