Cubs being cautious with Russell's foot strain

Davis looking to smooth out cutter issues; club recalls La Stella, options Zastryzny

Cubs being cautious with Russell's foot strain

CHICAGO -- Addison Russell, placed on the 10-day disabled list on Thursday with a right foot strain, said he felt the discomfort about five or six days ago.

"It's something where I feel like I could try to play through it, but all it takes is one play to make it worse than what it already is," Russell said Sunday. "We're taking precautions and doing treatment now. Hopefully, by the time the DL is over with, I'll be ready to play."

His foot doesn't bother him walking or running, but he was afraid that a sudden movement might aggravate it.

"There wasn't one play that did it," Russell said. "I could walk on it fine, I could run fine, but changing direction was a little difficult."

• Cubs closer Wade Davis is 23-for-23 in save situations with an impressive 2.37 ERA, but his outings haven't been as clean as he'd like. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said the right-hander appears to be having problems with his cutter.

"It seems he's trying to possibly be too fine early in the count," Maddon said. "For me, it's cutter-related balls, as opposed to fastball-related balls."

Davis locks down the save

Davis will be a free agent after this season, but Maddon didn't want to lobby to keep the right-hander, saying he learned not to get involved in negotiations.

"It's not my job to negotiate contracts," Maddon said. "I do love [Davis]."

What are the Cubs' other options for closer? Maddon said Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon or newcomer Justin Wilson could do the job. It's Davis' job for now.

"Wade has done it on a high level and on a consistent basis," Maddon said.

• Infielder Tommy La Stella was recalled from Triple-A Iowa and left-hander Rob Zastryzny optioned to the Minor League team on Sunday.

La Stella's solo homer

"'Rob Z' didn't get to play, but two things happened -- he really backed us up and permitted us if something bad were to happen, and secondly, he improved his dancing skills," Maddon said of the young lefty. "From the second to the third home run, they improved dramatically."

Zastryzny was seen dancing in the bullpen after a Cubs player homered, which is a tradition at Wrigley Field now.

• The Cubs named Class A South Bend outfielder D.J. Wilson and Triple-A Iowa right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng the Minor League player and pitcher of the month for July, respectively.

Wilson is ranked by as the Cubs' No. 12 prospect, while Tseng follows him at No. 13.

Wilson, 20, batted a combined .284 with five doubles, seven homers and 21 RBIs in July, appearing in three games with Rookie League Mesa and 20 games with South Bend.

Tseng, 22, earned his first promotion to Iowa following his first career 10-strikeout game on July 3 against Jacksonville with Double-A Tennessee. He won all four of his July starts with Iowa, posting a 1.42 ERA, tied for the second-best mark in the Pacific Coast League in the month.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for 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.