Michael Arias – Picture by Todd Johnson

With three spots open on the 40-man roster, the Cubs only used them all today to protect 3 pitchers from the Rule 5 Draft. Pitchers Michael Arias, Bailey, Horn, and Porter Hodge are now the latest members of the Chicago Cubs !!!

The Cubs roster is now full at 40 players.

As a lefty, Horn seemed like a given heading into today. In a system short on southpaws, the Cubs hedged their bets by adding Horn who split the year at both Tennessee and Iowa. At times, he was dominant. While at others, he struggled. Still, he was one of the most improved pitchers in the system since coming over from the White Sox in 2021.

Porter Hodge was a bit of a surprise pick today, but as we mentioned in The Weekly, his arsenal has been getting some press lately! The 2019 13th round pick is only 22-years-old, He is armed with a mid-90s fastball and a vicious slider. This past year saw him struggle with tacked balls in April over 5 starts and then dominated in May in 5 starts with a 1.64 ERA. By the end of June, he found his way to the pen and spent the second half of the year learning that role. The stuff, however, plays.

Michael Arias struck out 110 batters in 80.1 innings this year. He made eleven starts in Myrtle Beach with a 2.55 ERA and a .164 batting average against. After getting to South Bend in June, Arias usually pitched very well the first time through the batting order. However, the former shortstop struggled in innings 3-5 with a 5.77 at High-A. From the dugout, one could clearly tell the young righty was gassed as he only had 40 innings total in his career heading into 2023. And that total was over two years. Still, Arias turns 22-years-old tomorrow. He’s been an incredible conversion success story going from a SS to a pitcher and we here at North Side Bound are excited to see his development continue in 2024!