Cubs place Morrow on DL; Darvish throws simulated game

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish pitches a simulated game before the Cubs hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish pitches a simulated game before the Cubs hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. Associated Press

  • The Chicago Cubs have placed closer Brandon Morrow on the 10-day disabled list due to tightness in his lower back.

    The Chicago Cubs have placed closer Brandon Morrow on the 10-day disabled list due to tightness in his lower back. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 6/20/2018 6:31 PM

There was plenty of news on the pitching front for the Cubs, some of it good and some of it not so good for them.

The first word of Wednesday morning was that closer Brandon Morrow had been placed on the 10-day disabled list with lower-lower back tightness. Morrow said Tuesday he felt spasms while taking off his pants after arriving home from St. Louis Sunday night into Monday.

 

To fill Morrow's spot, the Cubs kept right-handed reliever Justin Hancock on the roster. He was the 26th man for Tuesday's day-night doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Right after that news broke, reporters scurried outside to watch starting pitcher Yu Darvish throw a simulated game. Darvish threw 51 pitches to Ian Happ and Tommy La Stella as he continues his recovery from right-triceps tendinitis.

"I thought he looked free and easy," said general manager Jed Hoyer. "He was throwing all his pitches. He ended with a split (split-finger fastball). I felt like if he's doing that he feels pretty good. I thought his tempo was good. So all in all, I think that was positive. We have to see how he feels tomorrow. That's probably pretty important. If that comes through I think he'll be on pace for a rehab outing probably Monday."

Darvish said he would need only one rehab outing. He has been on the DL effective May 23.

"I feel good," he said through a translator. "There was some anxiety beforehand, but I think it turned out to be better than I expected."

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As for Morrow, the Cubs backdated the DL assignment to June 17.

I don't want to downplay it," Hoyer said. "He had the same thing in spring training. We started treating it the same way we treated it in spring training, and I think he was out about a week-ten days. If things go as we hope, it will be the kind of thing where he'd probably be able to be throwing before the 10 days are up. If he's not going to be ready all weekend, we can backdate it three days so it makes sense to put him on the DL. He understood that."

Morrow said he felt better. He added he had no problem revealing how he hurt his back.

"Anybody that's had a back spasm knows you can pretty much get it doing anything -- brushing your teeth, sneezing, picking up a kid," he said. "Almost everybody has a story about doing it, so I said how I did it."

Top pick in the fold:

The Cubs have signed their No. 1 pick from this year's draft, shortstop Nico Hoerner out of Stanford. The "slot" money for the 24th pick overall is $2.724 million.

Hoerner will report to the Cubs' facility in Mesa, Arizona and then head out to begin his pro playing career at Class A Eugene (Oregon).

"I think he'll probably take a little bit of time in Arizona and go to Eugene after that," Jed Hoyer said. "Here's a guy we're excited to get. I think he's going to have the ability to play shortstop and also the ability to play all over the diamond. He hits the ball hard. He puts the ball in play. We love the makeup."

Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish, right, talks with pitching coach Jim Hickey during Darvish's simulated game Wednesday morning. Darvish threw 51 pitches in the exercise.
Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish, right, talks with pitching coach Jim Hickey during Darvish's simulated game Wednesday morning. Darvish threw 51 pitches in the exercise. - Associated Press

• Twitter: @BruceMiles2112

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