PITTSBURGH -- Tony Barnette, who was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room for Craig Kimbrel’s arrival, has been placed on the restricted list.
Barnette was recalled on June 23 and threw 1 1/3 innings across two appearances for Chicago, allowing a run, before the Cubs brought Kimbrel up. Barnette did not report to Triple-A upon his demotion, and Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said the club is giving the 35-year-old the space he needs to think.
“I think Tony is kind of reevaluating things with his family right now,” Hoyer said. “He’s done this for a long time at a high level, and I think he’s trying to figure out the next step and we’re certainly willing to give him the time to do that.”
Barnette has been in the Major Leagues for the past four seasons, splitting time between Texas and Chicago. He was drafted in 2006 by the D-backs, with whom he spent four seasons in the farm system before beginning a six-year career with the Yakult Swallows of the Japan Central League.
In 13 appearances this year with Iowa, Barnette has posted a strong 2.31 ERA, striking out 12 in 11 2/3 innings.
“He’s a pro and a really good dude,” Hoyer said, “and I think he’s at that point in his career where he wants to think things over and think about what the next steps are. That’s kind of where it is right now.”
The move puts the Cubs' 40-man roster at 38 players, with Ben Zobrist also on the restricted list. They have yet to announce any corresponding moves.
Hamels undergoes MRI
Both Hoyer and Cubs manager Joe Maddon confirmed that Cole Hamels underwent an MRI on his left oblique, but neither was able to comment on the results of the procedure yet.
Hoyer said before Monday’s game that they’re still uploading the results, which have not been read yet.
The lefty exited after throwing a warmup pitch before the second inning of Friday’s 6-3 loss, then hit the 10-day injured list the next day. Hamels was pitching to a 2.98 ERA over 17 starts this year, showing a consistent stride with the 2.36 ERA he put up after being acquired from the Rangers on July 27, 2018.
With Hamels on the IL and Kyle Hendricks on a pitch count for his Tuesday start, the Cubs are continuing to go with a three-man bench and opting for more bullpen help. They recalled Rowan Wick and Dillon Maples from Triple-A to bolster the bullpen in corresponding moves for the Hamels injury and the designation of Carlos Gonzalez for assignment.
Edwards begins rehab assignment
Carl Edwards Jr. made his first Minor League rehab appearance since going on the injured list with a left thoracic strain on June 13.
The right-handed reliever threw 22 pitches (11 strikes) for Triple-A Iowa, recording a strikeout alongside a hit and a walk. He was charged with an unearned run that scored on a misplayed fielder’s choice.