Earlier today, we thought this might happen, and now, apparently, it is.
According to multiple reports on Twitter, Dexter Fowler is indeed headed to the 15-day disabled list after injuring his hamstring while running to first base on Saturday:
#Cubs will put Dexter Fowler on DL and call up Carl Edwards Jr.
— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) June 20, 2016
#Cubs GM Jed Hoyer: Dexter Fowler (hamstring) to the DL; Carl Edwards Jr. to be recalled.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) June 20, 2016
The roster move, then, will coincide with a call-up of right-handed reliever Carl Edwards Jr.
Edwards Jr. was up with the big league team for a short while last season (so he was already on the 40-man roster), but has struggled at Triple-A Iowa this year (4.26 ERA/3.59 FIP). His strikeout rate remains very impressive (31.8%), but he has lost almost all of his control (15.5%). He still has some nice upside as a reliever, but he’ll have to quickly find his command if he hopes to contribute very often. (More on this half, another time).
Even still, Edwards Jr. is but the smaller part of a larger story, which is that the Cubs will now be without their leadoff man and center fielder for at least 15 days (although hamstring injuries can vary wildly in regards to time missed). I haven’t seen any word on the specifics of his injury or the results of his MRI, but they were clearly bad enough for him to miss about two weeks (at a minimum).
We’ll have much more on this later, but for now I wanted to get it in front of you.
UPDATE: A tiny update from Jed Hoyer (ESPN), in which he indicated that the Cubs don’t see this as a long term injury. More encouragingly, Hoyer adds, he didn’t want the team playing shorthanded for the “handful of games” that Fowler would have had to miss. If that is indeed the case, you might look for Fowler to return as soon as he is eligible to come off the disabled list. On the decision to add a bullpen arm, Hoyer mentions that the bullpen is just “a little tired,” right now, so the move was made to supplement the pitchers, instead of the bench. Given the versatility of the Cubs positional players, they’ll manage (even with three catchers on the roster).