Rivas, Effross join Cubs' long list of players used in 2021 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
First baseman Alfonso Rivas and reliever Scott Effross became the 11th and 12th Cubs to make their MLB debuts this season — the franchise’s most in a single season since 2012 (13).
The two are the 37th and 38th players to make their Cubs debuts this season, surpassing the previous franchise record set in 2013 (34).
They're also the 62nd and 63rd players the Cubs have used this season, extending the franchise’s all-time single-season record. Both were called up from Triple-A Iowa on Saturday.
“I think it’s healthy for the space we’re in," Cubs manager David Ross said. "These are real opportunities for guys.
"When guys can come in and get called up and have a chance to make their mark in the major leagues and show what they can do, I think that’s exciting. I think that’s something we should welcome in this time."
It's also something that might lead to history. The Cubs are one away from tying the 2019 Giants for most players used in a single season in National League history.
The MLB record is 67, set by the Mariners — also in 2019, coincidentally.
Here is Cubs historian Ed Hartig on the high volume of players used this season by the North Siders.
Rivas and Effross up it to 63. So, as of this moment… pic.twitter.com/wHR7x8msow
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 29, 2021
Sunday's debuts offered a mixed bag of results. Rivas went 2-for-3, and would have gone 3-for-3, if not for a great running catch by Luis Robert.
The 24-year-old lived up to his billing as a contact-oriented bat with a single through the box on the first pitch he saw in the majors.
Two innings later, Rivas, a left-handed hitter, sat back on a Dylan Cease curveball on the outside corner, slapping it down the left field line for a double.
“Really good at-bats,” Ross said. “You're talking about some real velocity. Nice job jumping that first heater in his first at-bat. Get that thing out of the way.
“I thought he really managed the plate well — the double down the left field line was a really good piece of hitting.”
Effross, 27, pitched 2/3 of an inning, hitting a batter and giving up a two-run home run to Robert.
“Probably not the debut he wanted, but the first ones are wild cards,” Ross said of Effross. “You never know how those things are going to go.
“We'll go back and look at the location stuff, but it's nice to get that first one out of the way.”
Said Kyle Hendricks, Sunday's starter who made his MLB debut with the Cubs a little over seven years ago: "That's a special moment in this game, a special moment for those guys.
"It’s something they'll always remember, obviously, so it's just cool to watch from the outside."
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