[See the Updates below.]
The beat writers are reporting that righty reliever Rafael Dolis, who had been pitching at AAA, is in Chicago today, suggesting that a roster move is coming. Interestingly, Dolis was one of the last relievers not to make the Cubs out of Spring Training, and is the only one of that group who is already on the 40-man roster.
That suggests to me that, whatever roster move is coming, the Cubs didn’t want to have to use a 40-man spot (or open up a 40-man spot) to call up a different reliever (because the 40-man currently stands at 40). Your obvious best guess is that someone in the bullpen is going on the DL, but it’s also possible that there is going to be creative roster rejiggering (someone gets DFA’d, Dolis comes up, and the Cubs chill with 39 on the 40-man roster for a little while to give themselves some flexibility).
I’ll update this when the details on the roster move – if one comes – are released.
UPDATE: Jesse Rogers points out that Kyuji Fujikawa isn’t on the roster sheet today. Something seemed a little off with him yesterday, as we discussed, so it’s possible he’s hurt. Which, yeah, would sound about right for the Cubs’ luck.
UPDATE 2: If it does wind up being Fujikawa going to the DL – and everyone seems to think it is – I’m not sure we’ll see a new, dedicated closer in his stead. It might just be a mix’n’match situation, which strikes me as the proper approach, given the personnel.
UPDATE 3: Rogers says Fujikawa is “definitely” injured.
UPDATE 4: And the Cubs announce that, indeed, Fujikawa is headed to the 15-day DL with a “muscle strain in his right forearm.” The Cubs were careful to describe it that way, I suspect, because they’re trying to make sure this sounds as “muscular” as possible, as opposed to “ligament” or “tendon.” This really could be a minor thing, but past experience tells me there’s a very fine line between a “forearm” issue and an “elbow” issue. Hopefully it isn’t serious, and the Cubs are just being cautious while it’s early in the year and the weather is nasty anyway. Of course, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. It’s going to be a closer-by-committee situation in his absence, which is the right move.