Eight games into the season the Cubs pitching depth is getting tested. With RHP Justin Grimm already on the DL and rehabbing in Arizona, RHP Neil Ramirez left Wednesday’s game after throwing only three pitches. Something is wrong with Ramirez’s shoulder. He’s schedule for an MRI on Thursday. And the Cubs are expected to announce the results prior to Friday’s game.
The Cubs are calling Ramirez’s injury right shoulder discomfort.
Joe Maddon did not provide any details when asked about Ramirez following the Cubs 5-0 win over the Reds. But it doesn’t look good according to the Cubs’ skipper.
“It’s nothing real positive,” Maddon said during his post-game press conference. “We have to wait and see. I don’t like going to Negative Town too quickly, but we’ll see.”
Neil Ramirez’s fastball was only in the 90 mph range, plus Miguel Montero noticed something was not right with him during warm-ups.
Ramirez dealt with a shoulder injury that cost him time in 2013 and the reason he was not included in the deal for Matt Garza when it was first announced. The Cubs actually received C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm, Mike Olt and a PTBNL for Garza. It was believed at the time, the Cubs were waiting to see how Ramirez performed when he returned from the DL before accepting him as the last player in the deal.
There is no other way to say it, this is not good for the Cubs. The team was depending on Ramirez picking up where he left off last season. Losing Ramirez and Grimm for an extended amount of time could speed up the front office’s timeframe for pitchers like Armando Rivero and C.J. Edwards.
The Cubs have four pitchers on the DL currently on the 40-man roster in LHP Tsuyoshi Wada, RHP Justin Grimm, RHP Jacob Turner and RHP Dallas Beeler.
The Cubs are expected to go back to carrying 12 pitchers on the active roster before Friday’s game. And if Ramirez is placed on the DL, which is very likely at this point, LHP Zac Rosscup and RHP Brian Schlitter should stay with the team.
Maddon said the Cubs will use Thursday as a chance to re-evaluate the roster.
The Cubs have 39 players on its 40-man roster right now and could transfer Jacob Turner to the 60-day DL to create room for a reliever like Armando Rivero, who is not on the big league reserve roster. RHP Blake Parker, LHP Joseph Ortiz, LHP Eric Jokisch and RHP C.J. Edwards are on the 40-man roster and currently on optional assignments.