The Chicago Cubs have placed their newly minted closer, Kyuji Fujikawa on the 15 day DL one day after he blew save in the top of the ninth against the San Francisco Giants. During that outing, Fujikawa looked as though he wasn’t comfortable and had uncharacteristic struggles finding the strike zone.
The Japanese pitcher is serving in this first season in the big leagues after spending most of his career in the Japanese baseball league. The veteran signed a two-year deal with the Cubs with a vesting option that the team holds for a third season.
The Chicago Cubs signed Kyuji Fujikawa to be their setup man to returning closer Carlos Marmol, but the team has had waning faith in their former lights out ninth inning pitcher in the last few years. Marmol struggled to get outs this spring and when he was walking and getting hit all over the park in his first few save opportunities, the team made a change.
The season has already been quite eventful for the Cubs on and off the field. Earlier in the week the team received an unwanted package. Its not clear exactly what the message behind that package was though it appeared to be a rather gruesome attempt at ending the team’s supposed curse.
For his part, Fujikawa said that his arm began hurting “a couple of days ago.” He also said that this type of injury has happened to him before and it usually clears up in “about 10 days or so.”
If his arm problems did start a few days back, it could be traced as the reason why he has struggled in two of his last three appearances. In the third game of his team’s series against the Atlanta Braves, Fujikawa gave up four hits and a walk, as well as three earned runs in one inning.
Yesterday he allowed three hits and three earned runs in the blown save. The newest closer for the team wasn’t the only important player who landed on the DL this morning either. Jose Reyes had to be carted off the field after he landed awkwardly and injured his ankle. His prognosis is 1-3 months.
The Chicago Cubs called up reliever Rafael Dolis to take Kyuji Fujikawa’s spot on the roster and the team hopes he will need only the 15 days to get back into playing shape.