Butler has made a strong impression on the Cubs since being acquired from the Rockies on Feb. 1, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Most recently, he fired four scoreless innings against the Dodgers on March 16. Talent has never been an issue for Butler, once a top-50 overall prospect as a member of the Rockies' organization. The Cubs can send Butler to Triple-A Iowa without exposing him to waivers, which likely means they'll leave him on the outside looking in at the No. 5 starter role to open the season, but he could be primed to earn an early-season call-up if injuries or ineffectiveness remove Mike Montgomery and Brett Anderson from the mix.

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