Even in the days of the five man rotation, the grueling baseball season can be hard on a starting pitcher. Unfortunately for the Chicago Cubs, that proved true with having to move Left-Handed Ace Jon Lester to the 10-day disabled list. The Lester injury takes the Cubs’ team leader in innings pitched out of the rotation.
Jon Lester Injury
The Lester injury comes after a historically bad outing for him, becoming the first pitcher in 30 years to give up two nine-plus run innings in a single season. Lester’s move to the disabled list is a blow to the an already embattled starting rotation for the Cubs. Receiving little run support this year, Lester owns an ERA of 4.37. His ability to eat innings did give results in games as it allowed relievers to rest. The Cubs continue to cling to the divisional lead in the NL Central. Losing their ace could not have happened at a worst time for the team.
He will miss at least two starts during the injury rehab, but it is currently unknown who will take his starts. Following the long relief appearance on Thursday, Mike Montgomery seems like the best choice on the current 25-man roster.
Justin Grimm Injury
The Lester injury was not the only injury of note this week for the Cubs. Right-handed relief pitcher Justin Grimm suffered an infection on his throwing hand. The Cubs moved him to the 10-day disabled list. With the impending move of Montgomery to the rotation to take Lester’s starts, Grimm’s absence will leave the embattled bullpen in trouble. To take the spots in the bullpen the Cubs recalled Felix Pena and Rob Zastryzny from Triple-A Iowa.
Zsatryzny has one appearance earlier this season for the Cubs, pitching four innings and allowing three runs to score. Pena appeared in 10 games this season for the big league club, allowing nine runs in 16 innings pitched.