The Chicago Cubs are expected today to place reliever Kyuji Fujikawa on the disabled list with what was suspected to be a recurrence of the forearm strain that cost him nearly a month of action already this season. It sucks, as Fujikawa was pitching quite well. It could suck even more if the injury proves to be more serious than that, but we’ll have to wait on the results of further medical investigation to know.
Possibly in his place, the Cubs have claimed reliever Alex Burnett off of waivers from the Orioles. The 25-year-old righty was pitching well at AAA for the Orioles in limited duty after a solid 2012 season for the Twins, in which he threw 71.2 innings of 3.52 ERA ball. Of course he didn’t strike anyone out, so it’s fair to be a little suspicious of the stuff. He was a quality relief prospect on his way up the Twins’ system, though, so there’s a little to dream on here.
Given the interesting fringe options the Cubs already have at AAA, I’m a bit surprised they’ve gone outside of the organization on this one, but, as we know, they’re into talent accumulation right now, however possible. So, even if they liked their guys at AAA, if they liked Burnett, too – and apparently they did – they were going to grab him regardless.
We’ll see what the official announcement says, but it remains possible that Eduardo Sanchez – who is apparently no longer with AAA Iowa – is called up to take Fujikawa’s spot, and Burnett could head to Iowa. It sounds tentatively like Burnett will be the guy, though.
The Cubs’ 40-man roster was at 39, so there is no need for a corresponding move to pick up Burnett.