The Cubs are placing John Lackey and Hector Rondon on the disabled list and are calling up pitching prospects Rob Zastryzny and Felix Pena.
Looks like Lackey and Rondon headed to DL. Zastryzny and Pena to be called up. #Cubs
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 19, 2016
Both Rondon and Lackey had MRIs performed this week to assess any possible damage as a result of their injuries – Lackey is suffering from right shoulder strain and Rondon a right triceps strain – and the results, in both cases, came back negative, which is positive. That said, the Cubs decided to exercise on the side of caution with both pitchers, thus they will both be placed on the DL.
It’s certainly a good spot for the Cubs to be in, where they can essentially expand the roster a couple weeks before rosters officially expand to 40 on September 1. Of course, they’re losing the services of two very good pitchers but doing this now makes sense just to get them both healthy heading into the playoffs. That’s the focus now.
As for Zastryzny and Pena, both are coming up from Triple-A Iowa.
Zastryzny has been in a starting role for the Iowa Cubs so far this year and he’s 7-3 with a 4.33 ERA. He boasts a nice fastball in the low-to-mid 90’s and a solid change up to compliment things. When he gets in trouble it can be difficult for him to power his way out of it which leaves him left only with finesse and control, which he sometimes struggles with.
Pena has been effective out of the bullpen for the Iowa Cubs this year, where he’s posted a 3.14 ERA and 81 strikeouts over 63 1/3 innings pitched. He’s got big league power but the question is whether he can command the zone effectively in the major leagues against much higher caliber players than he’s faced in Triple-A.
In order to make room for on the roster, the Cubs have moved both Dallas Beeler and Aaron Brooks from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.