Prior to Friday night’s opener in Milwaukee, the Cubs announced Jose Veras is dealing with a sore left oblique. Veras is listed as day-to-day right now. The Cubs have been working with a short bullpen due to Veras’ struggles and that is one of the reasons the team decided to have a 13-man pitching staff for a while instead of calling up a position player when Justin Ruggiano had to be placed on the DL.
Rick Renteria said Veras has “been working really hard” to get straightened out and the additional work could have led to the soreness in his left oblique.
The Sun-Times reported that there is “no rush to make a decision on a DL move” for Veras, unless the Cubs want to add a position player to the roster. The Cubs could also use ‘the injury’ as a way to give Veras a break before sending him down to the minors, on a rehab assignment, to work through his issues.
The additions of LHP Zac Rosscup and RHP Neil Ramirez to the pen prior to Thursday’s game give Rick Renteria two more options, and ways, to hide Jose Veras while he works to get back on track.
Jake Arrieta is scheduled to make what should be his final rehab start on Saturday night. Arrieta will make his fourth rehab start with the Smokies, fifth overall. Arrieta is supposed to throw only four innings against the Huntsville Stars (Milwaukee Brewers) at Smokies Park.
Arrieta said he was ready to be activated from the disabled list following his last rehab outing with the D-Cubs. But the Cubs want to see him make one more ‘short start’ before he is activated. Arrieta threw 94 pitches last Monday, up from the 82 pitches he tossed in his third rehab start.
With Arrieta starting on Saturday, he would not be able to start a game again until May 1. The Cubs only day off in a stretch of 30 games in 31 days is May 1, so Arrieta could take the ball in the opener of the three-game series with the Cardinals on May 2.
Without a day off before Thursday, the Cubs would have to leave Carlos Villanueva in the rotation for at least one more start, or recall Chris Rusin to face the Reds.
The Cubs are reportedly viewing Saturday as the last tune-up of the spring for Jake Arrieta.
News and Notes
Kris Bryant went 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and was hit by a pitch on Friday night. Bryant has reached base safely in each of the 21 games he’s played in this season and is hitting .310/.449/.577/1.027 with seven doubles, four home runs and 14 walks.
While Carlos Villanueva’s rough start to the season continued on Friday night in Milwaukee, Chris Rusin led the I-Cubs to their fourth straight victory. Rusin held Colorado Springs to one run on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts in seven innings.
Arismendy Alcantara hit his third triple of the season on Friday when he pinch hit for Chris Rusin. Alcantara knocked in a pair of runs with the three basehit and his now hitting .263/.275/.513 on the season with seven doubles, three triples and two home runs … 12 of Alcantara’s 20 hits this season have gone for extra bases.