It’s a safe bet that televisions in Cascade will be watching a lot of Chicago Cubs baseball.
Cascade native Colin Rea returned to the major leagues when the Chicago Cubs called him up from South Bend July 30.
Rea’s last year in the majors was 2016 with the Sand Diego Padres.
In a phone conversation after the Cubs brought him up, Rea said he needs to be ready for any situation with the Cubs.
“I’m not sure yet what my exact role will be, but it could be in long relief. I just have to be prepared to go in whenever they need me. Obviously, I have to earn their trust to be thrown in certain situations.”
An arm injury led to surgery and Rea sitting out the 2017 season while rehabbing. Returning in 2018, Rea pitched for the Padres’ Double-A and Triple-A teams before he was designated for assignment at the end of the year.
After being signed by the Cubs for 2019, Rea pitched last season in Des Moines, where he earned Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year honors.
Before MLB shut down spring training due to COVID-19, Rea said his spring training was “kind of up and down.”
“I felt good and had a couple good outings, but also a couple that weren’t so good.”
He said the quarantine gave him time to work on his pitching. “We were still throwing and facing hitters in Arizona, so I felt prepared when we restarted. I just worked on things to clean up my delivery a little bit. There were no coaches, no cameras or technology to put that extra pressure on you. You could just go out there and work on whatever you wanted to. Results didn’t matter.”
In Chicago, Rea will be reunited with his former San Diego manager, Andy Green, who is now the bench coach for the Cubs.
“I played for him and it gives you a little sense of comfort. He’s in a different role and it seems like this role fits him pretty well. He has that experience.”
Rea is excited to return to the major leagues after a four-year absence.
“It feels good. It’s a step in the right direction for me and my family. I’m thrilled to be a Chicago Cub. It’s a good feeling all over and one I hope continues for as long as possible.”