Cubs Roster Carousel Spinning at Redline RPMs Sunday

UPDATE: Duane Underwood Jr. will indeed be taking the bump to make his MLB debut Monday night in LA. He’ll be on more than regular rest and should be able to give the Cubs several innings if he’s on at all. The timing of his debut is more a matter of circumstance than anything, but Underwood has good excellent stuff and improved consistency could make him a legit option.

As if playing 17 games in as many days wasn’t bad enough in and of itself, the Cubs also had to deal with rain and power issues that compressed the back end of the rotation into a double-header. And that’s with Yu Darvish on the DL. That in turn taxed the bullpen, which was had been without Brian Duensing until Friday and is still missing Brandon Morrow and Carl Edwards Jr.

Even the replacements were having issues, as we saw when Rob Zastryzny left Saturday’s game with a stiff back. And to add to the fun, Tyler Chatwood’s back in Chicago after his wife went into labor. Oh, and the Cubs also announced that they’d try to get Jon Lester some additional rest after that 119-pitch effort Wednesday against the Dodgers.

That means a another replacement starter for Monday’s series opener in LA, with Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana closing out the series. I know there’ll be a few folks who aren’t super stoked about seeing a guy from AAA starting instead of Lester, but it’s necessary when you think about getting the rotation back to normal rest.

Jen-Ho Tseng pitched Thursday for Iowa and would only be on three days rest on Monday, though he’d probably only be called upon for two or three innings. Duane Underwood Jr. went on Tuesday and would be able to go on regular rest, so he’s a possibility. He’s given up 15 runs in his last four starts, but his most recent effort was a one-run game in which he allowed only five hits over 5.2 innings.

Make sense so far?

In other moves, the Cubs moved Zastryzny to the DL and optioned Luke Farrell back to AAA, calling up Justin Hancock and Cory Mazzoni to fill out the roster. Expect another move after Sunday’s game to make room for Monday’s starter.

Looking forward just a bit further, Yu Darvish is headed to South Bend to make a rehab start Monday and could be activated after that. It’s possible he’ll need another minor league outing just to make sure everything’s going well, but it’s been all systems go from the start of his return from right triceps inflammation.

Oh, Kris Bryant is also sitting with a sore left shoulder, so that’s super good and awesome. It’s not fun to see all this happening at once, though maybe it’s best to just get it all out of the way now.

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