Cubs option Adrian Sampson to Iowa to reach 13-pitcher limit

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Cubs option Adrian Sampson to reach 13-pitcher limit originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Game of Thrones survival drama continued to play out for Cubs right-hander Adrian Sampson, who was retained by the organization and optioned to Triple-A Iowa after a stellar 56-pitch relief outing Sunday that makes him unavailable to pitch for several days.

The Cubs were required to drop a pitcher from the roster Monday to comply with MLB's 13-pitcher limit, which went into effect at 11 a.m. (CDT) after multiple postponements to accommodate health and game-management stresses created by MLB's 99-day lockout and shortened spring training.

The Cubs are expected to announced a position-player addition before tonight's series opener in Pittsburgh.

(David Bote was nearing the end of a minor-league rehab assignment following 2021 shoulder surgery.)

Sampson, who was originally acquired by the Cubs via waiver claim last season, has been in and out of the organization since, pitching well for the club in 12 appearances overall — none better than Sunday's 4 2/3 scoreless innings, during which he flashed a 94 mph fastball, struck out five and allowed only one hit.

"That's as good as I've seen him," manager David Ross said of the outing that kept the rest of the bullpen in sleep mode Sunday.

Sampson on Sunday became the first Cubs since Dave Roberts (the other one) in 1977 to pitch at least 4 2/3 scoreless innings of relief and allow one or fewer base runners.

He also has a one-inning scoreless appearance for the Cubs during his week with the club this season.

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