PITTSBURGH - The Chicago Cubs today placed right-handed pitcher Rafael Soriano on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to August 4) with right shoulder inflammation. Left-handed pitcher Clayton Richard, who was designated for assignment on Monday and later became a free agent, has signed with the club and joins the 25-man roster.
Richard will be available for the Cubs tonight in their series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
The 31-year-old Richard returns to the Cubs for the third time this season, as he is 2-0 with a 4.29 ERA (10 ER/21.0 IP) in four appearances (three starts) thus far. Richard was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 3 and made his Cubs debut the next day, earning the 7-2 win against Miami after allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk in 6.1 innings. He last pitched for the Cubs on Sunday, earning the 4-3 win in Milwaukee after allowing just one run on five hits and no walks with three strikeouts in 6.0 innings.
Richard began the season with Pittsburgh's Triple-A Indianapolis affiliate and is 5-2 with a 1.86 ERA (13 ER/63.0 IP) in 10 Triple-A starts this season. Prior to left shoulder surgery in June of 2013, Richard pitched in all or part of six major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox (2008-09) and San Diego Padres (2009-13). He is 48-47 with a 4.33 ERA (382 ER/794.1 IP) in 151 appearances, including 132 starts.
In a three-season span from 2010-12 with San Diego, Richard twice won 14 games (2010 and 2012), led the N.L. with 33 starts in 2012 and posted a sub-4.00 ERA in all three campaigns. During that span, Richard combined to go 33-32 with a 3.88 ERA (224 ER/520.0 IP) in 84 starts. He was limited to 12 appearances (11 starts) in 2013 before being placed on the disabled list for the rest of the season on June 22. He signed a minor league contract with Arizona last July and made four minor league starts before signing a minor league deal with Pittsburgh this past offseason.
Soriano, 35, is 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA (4 ER/5.2 IP) in six relief appearances for the Cubs this season.