The Chicago Cubs roster shuffling continued on Sunday evening. Prior to the start of the game, the Cubs announced two highly anticipated roster moves.
As expected, the Chicago Cubs made more roster moves today. The first was placing LHP Brett Anderson on the 10-day DL with a lower back strain. After Anderson had been removed from the game yesterday, it was widely speculated that he would be placed on the disabled list.
Anderson, 29, has had a rough start to his Cubs career. In six starts, he is 2-2 with a whopping 8.18 ERA in just 22 innings pitched. The bloated ERA comes mainly from his last two starts, in which he has allowed 12 earned runs in just 1.2 innings pitched. While his recent injury does appear to have been the reason for his poor outings, the Cubs knew about his past when they signed him.
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Anderson spent most of 2015 on the DL after having back surgery. Now, after just six starts, Anderson is back on the DL because of more back problems. There has been no timetable set for his return, but I think he will be out for much more than 10 days. The Cubs have not yet named a replacement for him in the rotation.
Because of a couple of upcoming off days, the Cubs can technically survive with just a four-man rotation until May 21st against the Milwaukee Brewers. However, with the recent struggles of the rotation, the Cubs might not want to go that route, even though all the starters will be on normal rest.
Grimm back, Zastryzny back to Iowa
In the corresponding move, the Cubs recalled RHP Justin Grimm from Triple-A Iowa. Grimm, 28, was sent to Iowa just a few days ago. While he has struggled to a tune of a 7.30 ERA in 12 appearances, the main reason for his demotion was to bring up a fresh arm in the bullpen. Grimm was able to return because of the injury.
All these moves were confirmed by Cubs beat writer Carrie Musket in a tweet earlier today:
Zastryzny was called up before yesterday’s game to provide extra bullpen help. He pitched four innings of relief, throwing 88 pitches. He did allow a three-run homer but ate up some valuable innings and helped keep the bullpen intact. Zastryzny will definitely be back with the big-league club this season. It just won’t be for at least another 10 days, unless there is another injury.
LaStella, 28, is hoping to stick around this time. He was sent to Iowa when RHP Brian Duensing was on the DL to start the season. With Matt Szczur now gone, LaStella will be the primary bench guy for the Cubs. LaStella has never been able to jump into a starting role but has been solid off the bench. He is a career .258 hitter as he begins his fourth season in the big leagues.
The Cubs bullpen is now back to eight. I would assume that both these guys would be available for tonight’s game, but there has been no confirmation on that. Expect another roster move later this week as the Cubs will need a fifth starter to fill in for Anderson.