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updated: 4/20/2014 7:06 PM

Closer role gone, Cubs' Veras still struggling

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It looks like it's going to take some time for Cubs reliever Jose Veras to get back whatever groove he had.

Veras was stripped of his closer's job very early, and he went without work from April 11 until Sunday, when things did not go well again.

With the Cubs down 5-0 in the seventh inning, Veras came out of the bullpen and surrendered 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 home runs, totaling 3 runs.

His stat line now reads 4 hits, 8 runs and 9 walks in 4⅔ innings for an ERA of 15.43 and a WHIP of 2.79.

"He's still going to continue to work, " manager Rick Renteria said. "Obviously, the results for him, I'm sure, aren't what he would have liked. But it was a good opportunity for him to get out on the hill in a key inning and try to work.

"He finished it with 3 runs, but he ended up getting in there and eating up an inning because we were short a couple guys today, so we were trying patch it together and get us through."

When the Cubs do get into a save situation, the ball likely will go to Pedro Strop.

Baez returns from DL:

Shortstop prospect Javier Baez returned to the lineup Sunday at Class AAA Iowa. He had spent a week on the disabled list with a left-ankle injury.

Baez went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts as the DH in Iowa's 6-0 loss at home to Round Rock. The 21-year-old Baez is considered the Cubs' top prospect and no doubt many fans want to see him sooner rather than later, but the Cubs appear to be in no hurry to rush him.

So far, Baez is hitting .133, and the Cubs have noted he needs to continue growing in several aspects of his game.

Change is coming:

There likely won't be many more starts in the near future for pitcher Carlos Villanueva, who started Sunday's game. Jake Arrieta is headed to Class A Daytona for another rehab start as he recovers from a shoulder ailment.

When Arrieta comes back, it's likely Villanueva will head back to the bullpen.

"I spoke to him, and I'm sure when he comes in, he'll help," Villanueva said, "We all know what the plan is. It's no major secret. If I have to go down the bullpen, I'll keep working my butt off and try to help out there."

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