Jeff Stevens to Chicago, Mitch Atkins to Iowa

After getting knocked around for a few innings yesterday, Mitch Atkins is headed back to AAA Iowa. To replace him, the Cubs have recalled Jeff Stevens.

Stevens, 26, begins his third stint with the Cubs this season, having recorded a 5.71 ERA in 17 relief appearances from May 19 to June 26 and June 29 to July 5.

He held opponents to a .226 batting average in his first 15 big league outings before giving up six earned runs in his last two outings, July 2 and July 4 against Cincinnati.

With Triple-A Iowa this season, Stevens had a 3.18 ERA in 16 relief appearances. He gave up one home run in 22 2/3 innings.

Atkins, 24, had a 6.43 ERA in three relief outings for the Cubs since he was recalled July 7. With Iowa this season, Atkins was 5-2 with one save and a 3.60 ERA in 18 games (10 starts). cubs.com.

Of the Atkins/Stevens/Berg ilk, none has established himself as more than a very good AAA pitcher. At least for 2010, though, they’ll keep getting chances.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.