Brian Schlitter is the latest Chicago Cub to come down with bad-performance-itis. I kid (sort of), but following his disastrous outing on Friday against the Reds, the Cubs discovered that Schlitter had a “shoulder impingement.” He’ll head to the DL, and Mitch Atkins comes back up from Iowa to take his spot in the bullpen.
Manager Lou Piniella said Schlitter injured the shoulder in his last outing — he allowed five runs on Friday against the Reds — and the cortisone shot he received on Saturday improved his ailment, but not to the degree that he became available out of the bullpen.
Schlitter, who made three appearances since being called up on June 26, will accompany the club to Los Angeles for a four-game game set that closes out of the first half. He will likely be activated to the roster shortly after the All-Star break.
Atkins, who was available to pitch in long relief Wednesday, wasn’t called upon in his June 12-15 stint at the big league level. The 24-year-old went 5-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 18 games (10 starts) for Iowa and now joins a ‘pen that already includes fellow rookies Andrew Cashner, James Russell and Justin Berg, who was recalled on Monday.
“We need some innings out of our bullpen,” Piniella said. “The young kids are going to have to perform.” cubs.com.
Perhaps Atkins will actually get a chance to pitch this time around – he didn’t make an appearance in his last stint with the big club, and he didn’t get into a bullpen-heavy game last night.
The injury to Schlitter makes me remember/wonder: what’s up with Esmailin Caridad these days? He went on the DL (for the second time) with an elbow strain all the way back on May 19, but we haven’t really heard boo since then. Anyone know how he’s doing?