Just a day after Joe Maddon had to break the disappointing news to Randy Rosario that he was being optioned back to Iowa despite his solid performance, the Cubs welcome the lefty back to Chicago. That’s because a spot opened up after Brian Duensing was placed on the DL with an inflamed ERA, er, shoulder.
Duensing to the DL with left shoulder inflammation, Rosario back up.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) August 3, 2018
Far be it for me to doubt the veracity of this designation, since the lefty also spent time on the shelf in July with amorphous shoulder fatigue. But you have to admit the timing is a little coincidental what with Duensing giving up two runs on four hits and a walk over two innings of work last night. It was his third straight appearance, and fourth of five, allowing at least one earned run and his ERA now stands at a robust 7.34 in 34.1 innings.
Duensing is also following the Tyler Chatwood model of walking more men than he strikes out, which isn’t a good way to ingratiate yourself to your employers. His 1.83 WHIP is higher than all but seven of the 374 MLB pitchers who’ve logged at least 30 innings this year, not exactly the guy you want in there when the game is on the line. Or, you know, not on the line.
This is really just kicking the can down the road, since there’s really no path to Duensing being a productive member of the bullpen if and when Brandon Morrow returns and Yu Darvish and/or Drew Smyly can come back. He was great for the Cubs last year, really one of their most reliable relievers, but he appears to have lost that mojo in a big way.
Perhaps he can rediscover that, who knows. For now, we’ll just have to see whether Rosario can continue to outpace that 5.11 FIP with a sub-2.00 ERA.