In a move that will no doubt come as a relief to all observers, lefty Brian Duensing is headed to the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation and lefty Randy Rosario is coming back to the Cubs.
It was just a couple days ago, upon the acquisition of Brandon Kintzler that the Cubs elected to option Rosario to Iowa rather than lose Duensing for nothing. Now that Duensing is injured, the Cubs get Rosario back and don’t yet have to dump Duensing.
Rosario returns to a stellar sub-2 ERA, though I do remain concerned that absolutely nothing in his peripheral statistics (14.4% K rate, 12.1% BB rate, 34.0% hard contact rate, 15.5% soft contact rate, 3.6% infield fly ball rate) supports an ERA even close to that, which tends to suggest some serious regression in the results is coming. But at least he’s got a nice 50.5% groundball rate, and it’s impossible to imagine him being worse right now – even regressed – than Duensing has been.
As for Duensing, we wrote about him in the Bullets this morning: “As much as Duensing was a revelation in 2017, he’s been a disaster this year. Since starting the season with a scoreless streak (with dodgy peripherals, through May 12), Duensing has thrown 22.1 innings of 11.28 ERA baseball with absolutely nothing underlying the results to suggest they have not been earned. I understand that he was good last year. I understand that there aren’t many lefties available. I understand that he’s signed through next year at another $3.5 million. But he cannot continue to appear in even remotely close games right now for the Cubs, and his presence in the bullpen feels like the Cubs are pitching a man short. I don’t know if there’s a health issue to turn to, but if the Cubs can’t DL him, then they need to confront a difficult decision.”
And DL it is for Duensing, who will almost certainly not return – if at all – until September when rosters expand to the full 40-man.