Familiar face Brault joins Cubs after 'enlightening' road originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
After being promoted from Triple-A Iowa on Saturday, Steven Brault was asked how his familiarity with the NL Central could help him as he begins his Cubs tenure.
“One of the things, probably don't give up five home runs in 2 2/3 innings at Wrigley Field. That's probably a good one,” Brault joked of his Sept. 13, 2019, start while he was a member of the Pirates.
Brault showed his sense of humor throughout his Saturday conversation with the media after joining the Cubs for the first time this season.
It’s been a long process for the 30-year-old, who signed a big-league deal with the Cubs in March after six seasons with Pittsburgh. It was reworked into a minor-league contract after a triceps issue popped up on his physical.
Brault spent the last few months rehabbing at the Cubs’ Arizona complex and made his affiliated ball debut July 6 with Triple-A Iowa.
“It's been enlightening,” Brault said. “It's interesting to come to a new organization and learn the process of how things work here while being injured.
“Doing that during spring training, and then in Arizona for a while, getting to meet a lot of guys who unfortunately came down if they were injured or whatever.
“But more importantly, learning kind of the different vibe of a different team, which I haven't done since 2015. It's cool. I love it here.”
Brault, who said he’s watched nearly every inning of Cubs baseball this season, has a career 4.77 ERA in 107 games/52 starts.
His starting experience makes him an option to face both righties and lefties out of the bullpen and provide multiple innings.
“Been in every moment; the moment’s not going to speed up on him," manager David Ross said.
“It's nice to have a guy back in here that's been in the big leagues, been in this division and been through a tough road since we signed him and worked his tail off to get back here.”
Brault’s experience against the NL Central certainly can’t hurt. Sixty-two of those 107 appearances have come against the Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers and Reds.
But baseball is baseball, at the end of the day.
“I'm coming from the other side, but really, you're playing the same game,” Brault said. “It's the same idea.
“If they call my name, I'll be ready to go and go out there and dominate — just this time wearing blue.”
Whenever he first takes the mound for the Cubs, it'll be the start of something new.
"I was telling my girlfriend today," Brault said Saturday. "It feels like I'm making my debut again. It's not quite the same. I'm not quite as giddy, but I'm very excited.
"A little nervous but I think it's good. It shows I care. I want to help this team win."
Matt Swarmer DFA'd
The Cubs designated Matt Swarmer for assignment to make room for Brault on the 40-man roster. Mark Leiter Jr. was optioned to Iowa to open space on the active roster.