The Cubs announced that they’ve placed left-hander Jon Lester and right-hander Justin Grimm on the 10-day disabled list due to left shoulder fatigue and an infected right index finger, respectively. It’s the first trip to the disabled list for Lester since 2011. Left-hander Rob Zastryzny and right-hander Felix Pena have been recalled from Triple-A Iowa to fill the two roster spots.
Lester was rocked for nine runs (seven earned) on seven hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings yesterday against the Reds, and his afternoon ended with him calling for the trainer to come to the mound. The Cubs expect Lester to return by Sept. 1, writes USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, and manager Joe Maddon didn’t sound overly concerned when discussing the injury with Nightengale and other reporters.
While even a short-term injury for Lester is significant for a Cubs team that has a small 1.5-game lead on the NL Central, the fact that the 33-year-old doesn’t have any structural damage in his shoulder comes as a relief for the club. For the time being, fellow southpaw Mike Montgomery will step into Chicago’s rotation. Zastryzny, then, will fill Montgomery’s spot and give Maddon an additional lefty in the ’pen behind Justin Wilson and Brian Duensing.
The 2017 season has been a struggle for Grimm, 29, who served as a solid setup piece for the Cubs from 2014-16 but has limped to a 5.40 ERA through 43 1/3 innings this year. Grimm has seen his K/9 rate dip from better than 11.0 to 9.6 in 2017. His BB/9 rate has also spiked to 4.8, and he’s been more homer-prone than ever before in his career.