Chicago Cubs turn to familiar face for bullpen woes while Javier Assad lands on IL

The Cubs continue to take fliers for decimated pitching staff.
Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves / Brett Davis/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs continue to look at the bottom of the barrel in terms of solutions to the biggest needs that the team has on their 26-man roster.

Prior to their series' finale against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday afternoon, the Cubs signed former Oakland Athletics' relief pitcher Vinny Nittoli. Nittoli inked a minor-league deal with the Cubs prior to the 2023 season but was traded to the New York Mets before appearing at the Major League level with the North Siders.

After signing with the Oakland Athletics this past winter, Nittoli made seven appearances out of the Athletics' bullpen this season. In those 7 appearances, Nittoli struck out 5 hitters while giving up 2 runs in 8 innings of work.

The move is similar to the claim that the Cubs made for Tyson Miller earlier this season when he was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners due to a roster crunch. Miller has proven to be one of the few relief pitchers that can be trusted in the Cubs' bullpen and the hope is Nittoli has similar success.

Nittoli will be available in today's game against the Giants but the corresponding move is more concerning.

More pitching injuries for the Chicago Cubs.

Javier Assad is the latest Cubs' pitching to land on the IL and joins fellow starting pitchers, Jordan Wicks and Ben Brown. Assad has been brilliant out of the starting rotation this season, posting a 3.02 ERA through 16 starts this season. The starting pitching is what has kept the Cubs' season afloat but given slumping ways of the team's offense, it would seem that the season is just about lost with Assad's injury complicating matters.

Yency Almonte being transferred to the 60-day IL is not too much of a surprise considering the update on his status from earlier this week. The fear is that the Cubs will use the injuries to their pitching staff as the primary reason why their season was a failure but there is substantial evidence that points toward larger issues.