Injuries keep Cubs' roster in state of flux
Cubs catcher-infielder Steve Clevenger got the bad news he feared after he hurt his side swinging the bat Saturday: He will be out a minimum six weeks with a strained right oblique muscle.
The roster moves are coming fast and furious for the Cubs, who will be making even more of them in the coming days.
They placed Clevenger on the 60-day disabled list as they claimed veteran right-handed reliever Kameron Loe (a sinkerball pitcher) off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.
Loe was 1-1 with a 10.80 ERA in 4 relief appearances before the Mariners designated him for assignment April 11. He will join the team Tuesday, as the Cubs optioned reliever Rafael Dolis to Class AAA Iowa on Sunday.
The Cubs also signed their onetime closer, Kevin Gregg, to a minor-league contract. Gregg will report to the Cubs' spring facility in Mesa, Ariz., and from there he likely will go to Class AAA Iowa.
The Cubs say Gregg is not in the running to be the closer for the big-league team.
On Tuesday, second baseman Darwin Barney is expected to come off the DL after rehabbing at Iowa. Barney has been out since the beginning of the season with a lacerated left knee. When he comes back, the Cubs will have to make another roster move.
Infielder Brent Lillibridge could be on the bubble. Fellow infielder Alberto Gonzalez helped himself Sunday with a home run and sacrifice fly in the 10-7 loss to the Giants.
As for Clevenger, he hurt himself striking out for the final out of Saturday's 3-2 loss.
"It's definitely frustrating," he said. "At the same time, I'm determined not to let it get to me. I'll be getting my work in and try to get back as soon as possible."
Clevenger lay on the ground for several minutes after striking out. He went for an MRI, which confirmed the strain, but nothing more serious. However, Clevenger said he knew it was bad news right away.
"Yeah, as soon as I swung, it felt like somebody stuck a knife in my side," he said. "The reason I wasn't moving (was that) I couldn't really breathe too good, so I stayed down, trying to catch my breath as quick as possible. It took awhile to catch my breath."
The Cubs had enjoyed the luxury of three catchers, with Clevenger behind Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro. That allowed manager Dale Sveum to pinch hit with a catcher if he chose, something managers don't like to do with only two catchers on the roster.
"You probably have to be a little choosier," Sveum said. "Sometimes you just have to, if it's going to win you a game in the seventh inning, you're just going to have to say, 'Hey, Castillo, don't get hurt.'"
Too wild to stop:
Dioner Navarro was charged with 1 passed ball Sunday. He also had the misfortune of being behind the plate in the sixth, when pitchers Edwin Jackson and Michael Bowden combined for a record 5 wild pitches.
Dale Sveum said Navarro was not at fault.
"You're not going to block fastballs when they're pulled and thrown 94 miles an hour," Sveum said. "One split was pretty much unblockable. There was probably one of the five that you're able to have a chance of blocking in that inning."
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