Cubs lose relief pitcher Wick to injured list
The Cubs placed reliever Rowan Wick on the injured list Saturday with a left oblique strain, while activating lefthander Andrew Chafin from the IL.
Manager David Ross suggested that Wick's injury is bad enough that he may be out for the season, including playoffs.
Wick is second on the team with 19 mound appearances this season and has probably been the second-most effective bullpen arm after Jeremy Jeffress, who has settled into the closer role.
"Somebody will have to step up," Ross said. "We'll find out who that is. I've got a lot of confidence in a lot of guys out there."
Wick felt some discomfort during his last appearance on Wednesday against Cleveland.
"Walking off the mound, I saw him kind of trying to stretch his side before he got the last out," Ross said. "Walking off he was talking to Willy (Contreras) a little bit about it. I was going to send him back out and he was complaining about a little it of burning sensation in his side, some cramping, so the trainers thought it wasn't smart, which I agreed with. He got some testing done and it's pretty bad."
After starting the season poorly, the Cubs bullpen has been rounding into shape. Jason Adam hasn't given up an earned run in September, through 6 2/3 innings. Craig Kimbrel has been dominant in a setup role, but has faltered a couple times in a closing situation.
Duane Underwood is working on a streak of seven straight scoreless appearances and hasn't even pitched since Sept. 8. The Cubs also have more lefties with Chafin, Josh Osich, Rex Brothers and Kyle Ryan.
Meanwhile, Jose Quintana threw a bullpen session Saturday and Ross said he'll likely be activated sometime during the Pittsburgh series this week.