As expected, today the Chicago Cubs placed lefty Brett Anderson on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain. How long he’ll be out and the prognosis for effectiveness after his return remains an open discussion.
The Cubs also optioned lefty Rob Zastryzny to Iowa, with an appreciative pat on the behind for his four innings eaten last night. He will likely continue to work in long relief at Iowa, with the expectation that he might be shuttled up and down like this for most of the season – it’s the blessing curse of having minor league options.
In place of Anderson and Zastrzyny, the Cubs called up reliever Justin Grimm and infielder Tommy La Stella. Grimm, you’ll recall, was just optioned a few days ago, and, although you’d normally have to wait 10 days to call him back up, an earlier call up is permissible if he’s replacing a guy who is going to the disabled list (Anderson). Originally, Grimm was sent down so that the Cubs could get a fresh arm in the bullpen, which still stands at nine – although the rotation is technically down to four.
As for La Stella, he was a 25-man roster casualty when the Cubs elected not to risk losing Matt Szczur earlier this year. But with Szczur now designated for assignment, the spot opened back up for La Stella, who will probably remain with the big league team for the duration. His high-contact lefty bat will come in handy off the bench.