The 27-year-old Rocky Cherry appeared in 33 games from the bullpen this past season, primarily at Double-A West Tennessee. He posted a 2.22 ERA in 48 2/3 innings with the Diamond Jaxx and was named to the Southern League All-Star Game.
In late July, Cherry was promoted to Triple-A Iowa, but would make only two appearances with the club. He suffered a bone spur in his middle finger and underwent surgery soon afterward.
Drafted in the 14th round of the 2002 draft from the University of Oklahoma, Cherry underwent Tommy John Surgery in May, 2005. Upon his return, West Tenn manager Pat Listach and pitching coach Mike Anderson both said that Cherry, previously a starter, had been throwing in the mid to upper 90s with the Diamond Jaxx.
Like Cherry, Clay Rapada was one of the Cubs’ most effective relievers in the minor leagues this past season. The left-hander posted a 0.82 ERA in 33 appearances at Double-A before being moved up to Triple-A in late June.
With Iowa, the sidearm southpaw posted a 3.04 ERA in 28 appearances. He missed roughly two weeks late in the season with a cracked fingernail and went on to appear in 16 games for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. There he posted a 3.07 ERA and struck out 17 batters while issuing only three walks in 14 2/3 innings.
The 25-year-old Rapada was signed as a non-drafted free agent in July, 2002. The Cubs’ roster now stands at 40 players.