Essentially, the Cubs had a trio of lefty relievers from whom to choose to option back to AAA Iowa upon the return of Jon Lester today. Lester will get the start against the Dodgers, and could see upwards of 75 pitches – if effective – in his return from a hamstring issue. He was looking REALLY good before the IL stint, so hopefully the time away and the injury don’t change that.
Lester’s return pushes Tyler Chatwood back into the bullpen, and the three lefties had options left: Tim Collins, Randy Rosario, and Kyle Ryan.
Ultimately, it’s Collins who’ll head back to Iowa, only to assuredly return – perhaps many times – later this year.
Collins, 29, has looked pretty good this year in his limited time with the Cubs (only four appearances), and really that’s about all you can take away, since the numbers won’t tell you much over 3.1 innings (they’re basically fine, for what it’s worth). Collins pairs a nice, live fastball with a big, arcing curveball, and locates both well when he’s on. Good arm. He’ll be back.
Also, Mike Montgomery (lat) will be back soon, so there will be another lefty available for the bullpen.
In the meantime, the Cubs’ bullpen looks like this, if you’ve lost your bearings in all the shuffling over the past week: