According to multiple reports, the Cubs will activate RHP Neil Ramirez from the 15-day DL prior to Sunday night’s finale in St. Louis. Ramirez has been on the disabled list since April 17 with right shoulder inflammation.
Reports suggested the Cubs could option RHP Donn Roach to Iowa or place LHP Tsuyoshi Wada on the 15-day disabled list to make room on the active roster for Ramirez.
The Cubs might push the fifth spot back a day according to the Sun-Times which would give Tsuyoshi Wada a little more time. Monday’s off day gives the Cubs the flexibility to do so while keeping the other four starters on regular rest.
The Cubs announced Saturday that Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta will start the three games in New York. Jason Hammel would be able to start the opener of the Marlins’ series on Friday. The Cubs would need a fifth starter for Saturday, July 4.
Neil Ramirez made three rehab appearances, two for Double-A Tennessee and one for Triple-A Iowa. Ramirez allowed one hit and struck out four batters in 2 2/3 innings. Ramirez retired all six batters he faced out of the Smokies’ pen and two of the three in his two-thirds of an inning with Iowa.
Last season, Ramirez pitched in 50 games out of the Cubs’ pen and posted a 3-3 record with three saves. Ramirez allowed 11 runs, seven earned, on 29 hits with 17 walks and 53 strikeouts (1.44 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 2.61 FIP).
Joe Maddon could use another option for the backend of his pen. While the focus was on Pedro Strop blowing the leading on Friday night, the bullpen has been very good for several weeks. Another reliever Maddon can depend on late in games will be a welcomed addition.
The Cubs did not announce Neil Ramirez would be activated from the DL or the corresponding roster move.