Fowler (hamstring) to DL; Cubs recall Edwards

Injury to center fielder, leadoff man not considered severe

Fowler (hamstring) to DL; Cubs recall Edwards

CHICAGO -- The Cubs placed outfielder Dexter Fowler on the 15-day disabled list on Monday because of a strained right hamstring and recalled right-hander Carl Edwards Jr. from Triple-A Iowa.

Fowler left Saturday's 4-3 win against the Pirates after experiencing discomfort in his right hamstring. He was batting .290 for the season and ranked 10th in the National League in on-base percentage. He's provided the spark at the top of the lineup, and the Cubs are 43-18 when he's batting first.

"We thought it was best to back off," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said on Monday. "There's no sense in pushing him right now. Talking to the doctors, there was a concern that if you try to push it, it could've gotten worse."

Ben Zobrist, who entered Monday second in the NL in on-base percentage at .420, batted leadoff Monday for the fifth time this season. Maddon said he'll switch the leadoff man depending on the opposition because he likes having Zobrist batting behind Anthony Rizzo.

"'Zo' is a super utility guy, anywhere on the field, anywhere in the batting order," Maddon said. "He never complains, he just shows up and plays, and he's always ready to go. I do know when he's leading off, he'll be even more patient to try to set the table for the guys coming up. When he hits five behind 'Riz,' he's been more locked into trying to drive in runs. He does play all the different roles well."

Fowler's injury was not severe, but the Cubs didn't want to be short-handed.

"We don't think it's a long-term injury," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "I hate to put timetables on it but, ultimately, we knew it was going to be something that was going to sideline him for at least the next handful of games, week or so. When that's the case, playing short-handed for what would be a significant part of a DL stint doesn't make a lot of sense.

"Dexter was great about it," Hoyer said. "I think he's in good spirits. I think he feels like he's going to be 100 percent when this is over. I don't think he wanted to risk playing at 80 to 85 percent for too long. Ultimately, it was a prudent thing to do at this time of the season. I think we've got some options in the outfield that we can play in the meantime."

Edwards, the Cubs' No. 16 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, had a 4.26 ERA in 24 games in relief at Iowa, striking out 35 over 25 1/3 innings. With his arrival, the Cubs will have 13 pitchers.

"We're a little bit tired right now in the bullpen," Hoyer said. "We'll go to 13 pitchers here for a little bit and then we'll re-evaluate, as we've been doing throughout the season."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.