On Friday, the Chicago Cubs moved pitchers John Lackey and Hector Rondon to the disabled list. This should be considered a good move.
Hearing that players are heading to the disabled list usually causes concern among the team and fans. When you hear that two important players are headed to the disabled at the same time, it is more worrisome. Knowing that it is August, fingernails are chewed off. Fear not, Chicago Cubs fans. This is a good thing.
In the counter move, the Cubs are calling up their No. 20 prospect, southpaw Rob Zastryzny , and righty Felix Pena from Triple-A Iowa according to Carrie Muskat. Pena, 26-years-old, is 3-4 in 36 games.
He has a 3.41 ERA in 63 1/3 innings and 81 strikeouts. Zastryzny is 24-years-old and started 14 games for the Iowa Cubs. He holds a record of 7-3 with a 4.33 ERA in 81 innings.
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John Lackey pitched well for 6 2/3 innings during his last start against the Cardinals on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Allowing only one unearned run and four hits, Lackey left in the seventh inning with muscle stiffness.
According to the Associated Press, Lackey said after the game, “Believe me, I have been through a lot worse. I don’t know, maybe (it’s) an old thing.” And, hopefully, that is all it is.
Rondon, on the other hand, just returned to the Chicago Cubs are a turn on the disabled list. The former closer suffered from triceps discomfort and pitched for the first time in 12 days during the same game Lackey left. Pitching in the eighth inning, Rondon gave up four runs, including two home runs and took the loss. It was not what we hoped to see in his return.
Give them rest
It is August 19th, and the Chicago Cubs are sending both Lackey and Rondon to the disabled list. This a good thing. For the next two weeks, both pitchers will receive extra rest. Allowing their bodies to refresh for the September push. For Lackey, he has pitched 158 1/3 innings already and, while consistently pitching 220 innings per year, his arm needs to be saved for October.
The Cubs need his fastball to be crisp and his competitive edge on the mound. Rondon may need the mental break after the harsh game versus the Cardinals. With Pedro Strop‘s torn meniscus and concern for Joe Smith, a fresher Rondon in the final month makes the Cubs better.
When Lackey and Strop return to the team, which will be around September 2nd, the Chicago Cubs still have 29 games left to play. That means five starts for Lackey and several chances for Rondon. They will get the time they need to be prepared for October baseball.