Good news, bad news for Cubs' bullpen

Kintzler joins Kimbrel on injured list, but Strop returns

August 7th, 2019

CHICAGO -- As if the Cubs' bullpen needed another injury. A day after closer Craig Kimbrel was placed on the 10-day injured list, right-hander Brandon Kintzler joined his teammate with inflammation in his right pectoral muscle on Tuesday.

Kintzler said after Tuesday’s 11-4 loss to the Athletics that he will use the next 10 days to get things right and give his body a full reset. He was already feeling better but knows he is better off making sure he is healthy before returning to the Cubs’ bullpen.

He isn’t certain when the injury occurred but said his body wasn’t trusting what he was trying to do during his relief appearance on Monday. He threw on Tuesday and will continue to do so as he works through the injury.

“There’s something in there. It’s not huge, but obviously there’s something we need to address,” Kintzler said. “It will be a quick stint and we’ll be good.

“Might as well play it safe.”

Cubs manger Joe Maddon called Kintzler the Cubs’ most consistent reliever throughout the season, which made the decision to take a conservative approach to the injury an easy one. In 49 outings, Kintzler is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA.

“To push it right now, we just didn’t think was wise,” Maddon said.

The Cubs' bullpen will have back, however, as the right-hander was activated from the 10-day injured list. The moves come a day after Maddon was forced to use Rowan Wick, Steve Cishek, Kintzler, Kyle Ryan and David Phelps to close the win after starter Kyle Hendricks limited the A’s to one hit over 6 1/3 innings.

Strop is back from his bout with neck soreness without having gone on a Minor League rehab assignment. Strop is 2-4 with nine saves and a 5.20 ERA in 32 relief appearances. Maddon said, for now, Strop will be available every other day and will not be used in closing situations.

New team, new Players' Weekend name for Castellanos

Major League Baseball released the list of nicknames players will wear during the third annual Players’ Weekend, which will be held Aug. 23-25.

Players will showcase their passions, backgrounds and interests by putting personal touches on their jerseys and equipment, including cleats, bats, batting gloves, wristbands and protective gear.

For Cubs outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, a recent hobby will make its way onto his back for the weekend. In a clubhouse that includes its share of unique nicknames including “Speedpass” (Cishek), "Salt" (Kintzler), "Dutch" (Derek Holland) and "Venezuela" (Willson Contreras), Castellanos -- who was acquired at the Trade Deadline from the Tigers -- will go with “Artist”.

Castellanos said Tuesday that the nickname pays homage to his passion for painting and photography, which he picked up almost a year ago. Castellanos signs all of his paintings and photos “Artist” and said he wanted a framed jersey with the same name printed across the back to add to his collection.

“Expressing yourself through creativity is very fulfilling,” Castellanos said. “It’s a very euphoric feeling for me.”

In addition to wearing a Cubs jersey for the time during the upcoming Players’ Weekend, Castellanos’ choice is more creative than in the past. When he was first asked whether he had a nickname while in Detroit, Castellanos told the clubhouse official his nickname was “Nick”, so that ended up on the back of his Players' Weekend jersey with the Tigers.

For Players' Weekend, clubs will wear either all-white or all-black uniforms, with the home team selecting which color they’d rather wear. Authentic team hats and jerseys are on sale at, while game-worn Players’ Weekend jerseys and helmets will be auctioned off, with all proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, which aims to improve the caliber and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the U.S. and Canada.