According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Jed Hoyer admitted prior to Tuesday’s game against the Rangers that Kyuji Fujikawa should have likely started the season on the disabled list.
Fujikawa started feeling pain in his elbow, according to the report, at the end of Spring Training. The Cubs gave him time off toward the end of camp and they thought the rest would “get him right”. Hoyer said his command issues pointed to something he was “covering up.”
Kyuji Fujikawa was placed on the DL prior to last Saturday’s game with a muscle strain in his right forearm. Soon after the news surfaced that Fujikawa was going on the shelf, the Cubs quickly clarified that his elbow was fine that the injury was to his forearm.
Fujikawa has not pitch as expected. As Hoyer pointed out, his command has not been there. In five games, 4 1/3 innings, Fujikawa issued only one walk while striking out four but he allowed eight hits. Fujikawa struggled with throwing strikes and once he fell behind, the opposing hitters teed off.
Dale Sveum said once Fujikawa returns he would be “the logical choice” to close games for the Cubs. The question is, when will Fujikawa return if he has been dealing with this since Spring Training?
The immediate signing of Kevin Gregg, and addition to the big league roster, coupled with claiming Kameron Loe off waivers, raises the question if the injury to Fujikawa is more than the Cubs are letting on.