Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Cubs activate Steven Brault, option righty pitcher


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WASHINGTON D.C. – The Chicago Cubs today activated left-handed pitcher Steven Brault off the COVID-19 injured list and optioned right-handed pitcher Anderson Espinoza to Triple-A Iowa after last night’s game.

Brault, 30, begins his second stint with the Cubs this season after being placed on the COVID-19 injured list August 2. He has no record and no runs allowed in 5.2 innings pitched over five relief appearances. In a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa from August 12-14, the La Mesa, Calif., native made two relief appearances and did not allow a run in 2.1 innings pitched.

The lefthander signed a minor league contract with Chicago in March and missed the first three months of the season with a left triceps strain. He was activated from Iowa’s 60-day injured list July 4 and made three scoreless relief appearances, totaling 3.2 innings with four hits allowed, three walks and four strikeouts.

The six-foot tall Brault is 12-18 with a 4.69 ERA (182 ER/349.0 IP) and one save in 112 career major league games (52 starts) with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2016-21) and Cubs (2022). The left-handed pitcher has held left-handed hitters to a career .227 average (72-for-317) with 79 strikeouts.

Brault played three seasons at Regis University in Denver before he was selected in the 11th round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft by Baltimore. Brault was acquired by Pittsburgh in February 2015 as the player to be named in the deal which sent left-handed pitcher Steven Tarpley to Pittsburgh for outfielder Travis Snider.

Espinoza, 24, has made six relief appearances for Chicago and owns an 0-2 record with a 4.11 ERA (7 ER/15.1 IP). He made his big-league debut in the nightcap of the May 30 doubleheader against Milwaukee, allowing two runs in 4.0 innings.

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