Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Bullpen shuffled with long stretch ahead

Mar 6, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Spencer Patton (40) throws during the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Spencer Patton (40) throws during the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Cubs placed Clayton Richard on the 15-day DL while also sending down Adam Warren to stretch out to start at Triple-A Iowa. The also promoted Spencer Patton and Gerardo Concepcion.


With a stretch of 24 games in a row before the All-Star break, the Chicago Cubs have shuffled some bodies around to try to make things more manageable on the pitching side for Joe Maddon. The most noteworthy move (and most appreciated) was Clayton Richard heading to the DL with a blister. The lefty who was so good for the Cubs last season has struggled this year to the tune of a 7.30 ERA and a 2.19 WHIP. With no options left, this could be a way to buy time to see if they can get him straightened out before releasing him.

With the heavy load of games, the team also decided to send Adam Warren down to Triple-A Iowa where he will stretch out for a start or two before returning to Chicago to start a game during this run of games prior to the break. Warren was a pitcher that the Cubs envisioned this scenario for, and will now prep to get a start. Travis Wood is one that many felt should have also had the opportunity to spot start a game with his past experience, but he has become a dominant force in the bullpen (2.30 ERA in 27 IP, 0.95 WHIP).

Spencer Patton has had solid success this year in Iowa, saving eight games while posting a 1.04 ERA in 26 innings of work. His SO/9 of 14.5 is a big reason to his success as he’s missing bats–an issue for Richard who didn’t miss them last night either but was bailed out by a strong defensive play by Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Willson Contreras.

Gerardo Concepcion will, for the time being, become the other lefty in the pen alongside Wood. He’s worked just 17 1/3 innings to the tune of a 2.60 ERA. He’s allowed 7.8 H/9, but has managed to keep runners from crossing the plate.

Next: Who's next from the farm?

With so many games and so many innings to cover, the Cubs will need every available arm as they try to extend their lead in the Central. This could also be an audition for these two young pitchers as well as C.J. Edwards who was called up when Dexter Fowler headed to the DL. It could also be a sign that Richards time in Chicago is coming to an end barring a miracle.

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