Phelps, 32, is a veteran of seven major-league seasons, having pitched for the Yankees, Marlins, Mariners, and Blue Jays. The former starter has been solid in his return to the mound this year after losing the entire 2018 season to Tommy John surgery, posting a 3.63 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP, 18 strikeouts, and seven walks since being activated from the 60-day injured list on June 17. He’ll be another veteran option in a Cubs bullpen that has added a pair of experienced major leaguers from the outside this summer, signing Craig Kimbrel in June and then making a deal for Derek Holland late last week.
It will be interesting to see who the Cubs bump from their bullpen in order to make room for Phelps. They’re already carrying 13 pitchers, and arguably their two worst relievers, Brad Brach and Tyler Chatwood, are veterans who would have to be designated for assignment to be moved off the roster. Meanwhile, lefty Kyle Ryan and righty Rowan Wick have been quite good, but both have options and could be at risk of being sent down and stashed in the minors until roster expand on September 1.
Hatch, 24, was a third-round pick out of Oklahoma State in the 2016 draft. Over 21 starts at Double-A Tennessee this season, he had posted a 4.59 ERA with a 1.41 WHIP, 93 strikeouts, and 37 walks in 100 innings. He was ranked as the Cubs’ No. 29 prospect at the time of the trade.