Cubs Place Fujikawa on the DL and Other News and Notes

The Cubs placed Kyuji Fujikawa on the 15-day DL prior to Saturday’s game with a muscle strain in his right forearm. The Cubs quickly clarified Fujikawa’s elbow is fine that the injury is to the muscle in his forearm.

The Cubs recalled Rafael Dolis from Triple-A Iowa to fill Fujikawa’s spot in the bullpen. Dale Sveum said the Cubs will go with closer by committee until Fujikawa returns. Carlos Marmol and Rafael Dolis will not be part of said committee. So basically Sveum will play matchups with James Russell and Shawn Camp when the Cubs have a lead in the ninth inning.

Darwin Barney began his rehab assignment with the I-Cubs on Saturday. Barney is scheduled to play with the I-Cubs through Monday. The Cubs are expected to activate Barney from the 15-day DL prior to Tuesday’s opener against the Rangers.

Ian Stewart will begin a rehab assignment with the I-Cubs on Sunday. No timetable yet on when Stewart could join the big league team.

Steve Clevenger

Steve Clevenger was scheduled to make his second start at third base on Sunday, but he will likely be added to the disabled list instead.

Steve Clevenger grabbed his back as he swung at and missed the last pitch of Saturday’s game. Clevenger could not bend his back and lay on the dirt around home plate in the fetal position for several minutes. Clevenger was helped off the field, is obvious pain. Clevenger could not stand up straight.

Clevenger went for a MRI following the game to determine the severity of the injury. Bruce Levine reported Clevenger has either a strained or torn left oblique. Look for Clevenger to be placed on the DL prior to Sunday’s game.

The Cubs could play with a 24-man roster on Sunday. With Monday’s off day, and Iowa playing late on Saturday, if Clevenger is unable to play the official roster moves could wait until Tuesday.

Scott Feldman

Scott Feldman will not face his former team during the upcoming series at Wrigley. Feldman is dealing with back tightness and will be skipped this time through the rotation. The Cubs have Monday off, which gives Dale Sveum the flexibility to skip Feldman. The Cubs will go with Travis Wood (Tuesday), Carlos Villanueva (Wednesday) and Jeff Samardzija (Thursday) in the series with the Rangers. If Feldman is still dealing with the nagging injury, he could be looking at a trip to the DL.

News Bits

Nate Schierholtz received his World Series ring from the Giants on Saturday.

Scott Baker flew to Chicago and met with team doctors. This appears to be a routine checkup on his progress. Baker has been rehabbing at the Cubs’ facilities in Mesa.

The I-Cubs placed Josh Vitters on the 7-day DL on Friday with a sore back.

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Is it just me, or is there an excessive amount of players across MLB moving to the DL this season? It seems to me as if every team has many more injuries than normal.

    In fact I read that trips to the DL in 2012 was up 29% from 4 years ago. It seems to me as if 2013 is starting out as if it will set an all-time record.

    Clevenger will be out several months. That’s too bad.

    • Tony_Hall

      The DL is more common as time moves on, not just the last few years. As the need to be stronger, faster, bigger keeps going, players get hurt more often. What are the sayings, you can’t pull fat and a rubber band never snaps until it is pulled tight. These guys seem to all be one wrong move from pulling something.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Fujikawa…perhaps the change in the size of the ball has aggravated his forearm. He has had the injury before, and now the use of a larger and heavier ball may have exacerbated this forearm weakness.

    Smells of Randy Wells, doesn’t it? I would think Mr. Fujikawa may be out longer than 15 days. Wells was out 2 months. Forearm injuries seem to linger for a long time.

    • Dorasaga

      NPB has been using MLB balls since 2011.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Speaking of closers…..

    Boston used to speak of Bowden being a closer. They considered his stuff to be dominant. He’s being hanging around MLB since he was 21. He’s 26 now. His control has been the bane of his life. If he could throw strikes consistently, he’d be a starting pitcher. Think Jeff Samardzija.

    Rondon…has pitched very well. 3.2 IP and 6 K’s. Since we are experiencing attrition in our bullpen, perhaps he may get a chance to proof that he can handle a save situation. I know the sample size is small, but he’s been impressive thus far.

    • Tony_Hall

      And just think Bowden was acquired in trade for a washed up Marlon Byrd and Rondon looks like a steal in the Rule V….we never seem to bring up the good trades and moves….

      The bullpen is getting a lot of flack to start the year, but Rondon, Bowden and Russell have been very good, while the more veteran group of Marmol, Fujikawa, Camp, and Takahashi have struggled.

      • Aaron

        you’re forgetting Schierholtz. He seems like a good pick up.

        • Tony_Hall

          Absolutely he was, but I was looking at the bullpen.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Villanueva and Jackson have both been good too. So far I’d say most of the offseason signings are paying off. Obviously not Lillibridge.

        • Dorasaga

          Aaron, long time. Missed the great debates with you.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Great point. How come we never talk about the GOOD moves. Annoying.

  • Tom U

    A very Happy Birthday to the “Mad Dog”. Happy Birthday Greg Maddux!

  • Tony_Hall

    I know everybody loves Soriano now, I admit I do to and wish we would of seen Soraino of 2012 for first 5 years of his deal….but, he has been waving at sliders off the plate again, not that he ever truly got away from doing that, but the zone is a little farther away to the point of hitting left handed batters on the back of the leg. He has 44 PA’s and has a line of 233/250/256 which is awful but early in the season, a time when he normally struggles.

    But ZERO RBI’s. How is that possible?

    DeJesus has 3 batting leadoff. Navarro, the backup catcher has 3. The favorite wipping boy for lack of a bat Valbuena has 2. Maybe it is because Rizzo has 9 already, but then I saw that Lillibridge, who is just awful swinging a bat and has only 1 hit has 2 RBI”s.

    Maybe the backend bullpen issues has made us all not see this, but 11 games into the season, he needs to figure out how to end this drought.

    • SuzyS

      Sori is a really streaky hitter….yesterday he had a good game…It could presage the beginning of a “good streak”.
      The weather has been terrible for baseball…AND we’ve started the season against some of the better teams. Things should get a little better soon.

      • Tony_Hall

        No doubt about it, but all the other players have played in the same weather and Lillibridge has 2 RBI’s. Soriano is batting 4th, the prime spot to drive in runs. I am just not seeing as good of AB’s from him right now, hopefully it is just a bad start.

        Now, if someone in the clubhouse wants to swap out his bats for ones about 1 oz lighter…

      • Ray Ray

        Remember when many wanted to just cut Soriano last year at this time? He didn’t hit his first homerun till May 15 and he had one of his best years. You are right about Sori. He is the least of this teams problems.

        • Tony_Hall

          After switching to a lighter bat….I was only half joking about swapping out his bats.

    • Ray Ray

      I think we should be more concerned with our young building block in Rizzo as a long term #3 hitter instead of a guy who won’t be with the team more than another year. Rizzo’s stats are crazy bad for a #3 hitter.

      • Tony_Hall

        Not sure Rizzo is our long term #3 hitter. He is today, but I feel we will have many better hitters that will move Rizzo and Castro to more like 5th or 6th.

        He does have 9 RBI’s in 11 games. So even though his AVG/OBP/SLG is down, he is still doing his job of driving in runs.

        • Ray Ray

          Check out these scary stats on Rizzo. You can almost put a fork in Rizzo so far this year if he gets behind in the count. He has been only productive on guessing on the 1st pitch. That’s where he has his 3 homers for the year.

          1st pitch of the at bat Rizzo is hitting .750
          Now….look what happens when he gets behind in the count.

          0-1 = .063
          0-2 = .000
          1-2 = .000
          2-2 = .000

          Wow! Not a huge sample size yet this year but that is supposed to be a middle of the bat player?

          • Tony_Hall

            Yeah, if you are going to take 11 games then break it down by pitch counts, you will find players with well below average numbers and players with stupid good numbers. I get your point, but all players, over time, will have much worse numbers when behind in the count then when ahead.

            That is why Strike one as a pitcher is so important.

          • Ray Ray

            Not like this.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree his numbers, at zero, are as bad as they get.

            But

            You don’t think there are other players, 11 games into this season, who have bad numbers with 2 strikes?

            0-2 125

            1-2 200

            2-2 125

            And this is arguably the #1 or #2 hitter in all of baseball, one Mike Trout. And last year with 2 strikes, Trout hit 242. Pitchers have an advantage when ahead in the count, and batters have an advantage when they are ahead in the count. Good quality AB’s are more important than ever.

          • Ray Ray

            Everyone was ready to put Mike Trout in the hall of fame after his incredible and I mean incredible rookie year. That is why you need to repeat years before you start comparing guys to Ted Williams etc. I wasn’t jumping up and down with LaHair’s fast start last year. So far in his career…..Rizzo has not proven to be able to hit lefties or when he gets 2 strikes on him. Even last year he only hit .183 with 2 strikes. That is including 0-2 counts to 3-2 counts.

          • Tony_Hall

            I’d take Mike Trout, he is pretty good.

            Did you see Trout hit only 242 with 2 strikes and he had a great season.

            If you want to say whether a player is good or bad based on how they hit with 2 strikes, we won’t have many good hitters (unless you use really small sample sizes)

          • Ray Ray

            I am not saying Trout is done but I highly doubt he will ever put up numbers close to what he did last year. Good hitters don’t drop off the cliff with 2 strikes is what I am saying. Of course they will have a drop but not to the extreme of Rizzo.

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