Tepera was recalled from the Cubs' alternate training site in advance of Sunday's game against the Brewers. Brad Wieck was placed on the 10-day injured list with a hamstring strain, so the Cubs needed a fresh arm for the bullpen. Tepera could be back and forth between the majors and the alternate training site all season.
Tepera was optioned to the Cubs' alternate training site in South Bend Thursday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Tepera was vying for a bullpen spot in his first year in Chicago but will now serve as organizational depth in South Bend. The righty appeared in 23 games for the Blue Jays in 2013, posting a 4.98 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.
Tepera will be a part of the Cubs' 60-man player pool this season and will head to Wrigley Field for summer camp. Tepera had a down 2019 with a 4.98 ERA in 23 games with the Blue Jays, but he looked much sharper the previous two seasons. He's now one of 22 pitchers invited to camp at Wrigley Field, and the righty will have to pitch well to earn any type of regular role with the Cubs this season.
Tepera could earn one of the Cubs' final bullpen spots when the regular season is able to begin, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. If the Cubs and other MLB teams get to use expanded rosters when the regular season begins, many will likely deepen their bullpens to deal with what figures to be a compacted schedule. Tepera, who entered spring training on the roster bubble, would stand to benefit in this scenario. The righty had a down year in 2019 with a 4.98 ERA, but he posted sub-4.00 ERAs each season between 2015 and 2018, so there is some hope for a bounceback campaign.
Tepera signed with the Cubs on Friday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. The righty will make $900,000 if he makes the big-league roster but just $300,000 in the minors. Tepera endured a rough 2019 campaign, posting a 4.98 ERA in 21.2 innings when not battling an elbow injury. The 32-year-old recorded a 3.49 ERA over the previous four seasons, however, so he could certainly find himself handling a lower-leverage role in the Cubs' bullpen if he's able to get back on track this season.
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