The Cubs made a minor roster move on Friday, promoting right-handed reliever Dillon Maples from Triple-A Iowa. In a corresponding move, the team demoted left-handed reliever Randy Rosario to Iowa.
Maples has pitched in parts of two seasons with the Cubs from 2017-18, holding a 10.97 ERA in 15 appearances. The 26-year-old has struggled with his command at the big league level, walking 11 batters in 10 2/3 innings. He has struck out 20 batters over that span, however.
Maples has fared well in Triple-A this season, posting a 3.38 ERA in seven appearances (eight innings). While he has walked eight batters, he has 16 strikeouts and opponents are hitting a measly .077 against him. Furthermore, he has walked just five batters compared to 14 strikeouts over his last 7 1/3 innings.
Cubs president Theo Epstein discussed how Maples' recent success is due to him being more assertive on the mound.
"He's been on a good little roll of late," Epstein said. "His last four outings — the results have been nice, but how he's doing it is important, too. He's been a little more assertive with his fastball, wanting to throw his fastball more, throwing it in the zone, getting good results with it to help set up his other stuff.
"I think that's an important step in taking control of how he does things. It's a process. With the type of pitcher that he is, he's an extreme guy. He's got extreme, wipeout breaking stuff, extreme spin, his control can get extreme at times outside of the zone. You have to live with the whole package and be happy with the progress and know it's not going to be perfect every time.
"He's on a nice little roll and deserves a lot of credit for putting the work in and not just relying on the things he can do, but challenging himself in the areas that are tough for him in order to make some longer-term progress. We're not gonna rush anything or get ahead of ourselves."
Rosario made the Cubs Opening Day roster but has allowed at least one run in three of his last six appearances. The 24-year-old holds a 6.43 ERA in eight appearances (seven innings), allowing five earned runs and five walks.
With the move, Kyle Ryan is the only left-handed pitcher available out of the Cubs bullpen. That likely will not be the case for too long, as Mike Montgomery is close to returning from the injured list after mildly straining his left lat earlier this month.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Cubs easily on your device.