The good news is that reliever Anthony Bass, who has put up good numbers and also passed the eye test so far this year, is returning from the disabled list today (illness).
The bad news is that the spot he’ll be taking is not that of a rotating depth reliever, but of closer Brandon Morrow, who is headed back to the disabled list, this time with right biceps inflammation. I don’t want to speculate without more details, but any part of the arm that connects to the elbow – whether it’s the forearm or the triceps or the biceps – just makes me nervous. Actually, or if it connects to the shoulder. So basically all of the arm.
It’s not as if we didn’t know Morrow came with injury risks, being that he threw a ton of innings last year and has battled serious arm issues his entire career. This is just kind of part of the deal. Hopefully we soon learn that this isn’t considered serious and he just needed more time to calm things down. His DL stint is retroactive to Sunday.
I figure we’ll see the Cubs once again mixing and matching the closing duties, spreading them between Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, and Justin Wilson, depending on rest and match-ups. I just have a feeling that Carl Edwards Jr. will be preserved for those tight 7th and 8th inning spots.
In the meantime, whether Morrow’s injury is serious or not, you can presume the Cubs’ efforts to add to the bullpen will remain full-steam ahead. Whether they *absolutely need* another reliever or not (they really do have excellent depth), the next two weeks are the only time you can make that addition freely without waivers. And you just don’t know what bad things could befall several of your relievers before September arrives, let alone the playoffs.
So, then, stay tuned to the rumor mill. And also, hopefully for good news on Morrow, specifically.
UPDATE: Maybe some mild optimism that it isn’t serious?
Maddon on Morrow: “Don’t anticipate being gone for a long time.” Velocity was down last outing. I asked him about it after the game and could tell he was holding something back. Said it was just that time of year. Obviously more than that
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) July 19, 2018