Reliever exited Tuesday's loss with neck strain, but Maddon not too concerned
By Jonathan Hawthorne
SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after Cubs reliever Koji Uehara exited the seventh inning early with an injury, the right-hander was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strain on the right side of his neck.
In a corresponding roster move, the Cubs recalled right-handed reliever Justin Grimm from Triple-A Iowa. Grimm is making his fourth appearance this season on the 25-man roster.
"We just wanted to make sure that we calm it down," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He's so important to us moving forward, getting him right in the latter part of the season. … Looking to play in September and October, we want him to be well."
Maddon said he saw something was off with Uehara from the moment he took the mound Tuesday.
"When he walked that hitter so easily on pitches that were so far out of the strike zone, I knew," Maddon said. "From the first pitch, I knew. Hopefully he takes a couple days off and he comes back and then feels good the rest of the way."
Grimm -- who was in San Francisco for the Cubs' series finale against the Giants on Wednesday -- has appeared in 36 games with the Cubs this season, going 1-1 with a 5.18 ERA. Uehara owns a 3.55 ERA this season in 43 relief outings.
Moving forward, Maddon said he won't necessarily lean on reliever Carl Edwards Jr. more -- the right-hander had a string of rough outings before turning it around on Tuesday. And Maddon indicated that Uehara's injury doesn't appear to be "anything spectacular in a bad way."
Uehara's injury is the latest development for a Cubs bullpen that has struggled recently. But overall, the Cubs stack up well against the National League; Chicago entered Wednesday tied for second in the NL with a 3.46 relief ERA.
"Like everything else we do, you do expect the hiccup, the bump in the road," Maddon said. "They're not going to be perfect all the time. A lot of times, it is kind of cyclical where the whole group is impacted or not. I feel good about it. I don't think anybody is overworked."
Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.