CHICAGO -- The Cubs are back to mixing and matching in save situations because closer Brandon Morrow is back on the disabled list.Morrow, who was sidelined in June because of lower back tightness, is out this time because of right biceps inflammation, and was placed on the 10-day DL on
CHICAGO -- The Cubs are back to mixing and matching in save situations because closer Brandon Morrow is back on the disabled list.
Morrow, who was sidelined in June because of lower back tightness, is out this time because of right biceps inflammation, and was placed on the 10-day DL on Thursday, retroactive to Monday. The right-hander said his arm didn't bounce back quickly after his outings and he underwent an MRI exam on Thursday.
"The first two days in San Francisco, I had to ask for time off, just hoping I could recover," Morrow said. "Leading into the All-Star break, that's a bad time to feel it. I didn't recover over the three days [during the break]. I let them know [Wednesday] I should get it checked out so we could cover with guys."
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he didn't expect Morrow to miss much time, and the right-hander agreed.
"I seem to rotate injuries -- I never hurt the same place twice," Morrow said. "This is a new one, but manageable. We have a good idea of how to proceed. I'm hopeful that it's just a muscle strain that can clear up."
Morrow is 22-for-24 in save situations, and he pitched Sunday against the Padres. His velocity was down.
"We thought it was the right time to back off for the latter part of the season," Maddon said.
The Cubs already were actively looking for pitching with the Trade Deadline approaching, and they acquired versatile right-hander Jesse Chavez on Thursday night from the Rangers. Could Morrow's injury change their thinking?
"You're always looking to make it better -- that's what [general managers] do," Maddon said. "We'll see how it plays out. We're hoping the Brandon thing is a short-term situation, which we believe it will be. Then again, the guys we've brought up -- [James] Norwood the other day and [Anthony] Bass is back, which is important. [Randy] Rosario has done a lot of heavy lifting for us, too.
"The bullpen is still really thick. It's not like there's a lack of confidence down there. You're always going to try to make things a little bit better."
• Cubs acquire righty Chavez from Rangers
The Cubs activated Bass from the DL to take Morrow's spot in one of a series of roster moves. C.J. Edwards was back after being on paternity leave and outfielder Albert Almora Jr. was active after missing time to attend to a family matter. Reliever Norwood, who was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Sunday, was recalled.
So, who's the closer?
"It's hard to pre-ordain," said Maddon, who will pick pitchers based on matchups and situations.
Schwarber discusses impact of Derby
Kyle Schwarber admitted to still being a little sore after his first Home Run Derby but was ready to get the second half underway.
"It's a lot of swings in a short amount of time," Schwarber said. "I'm not worried about hitting homers at all. Now it's back to baseball. Now it's time to worry about winning baseball games and driving people in."
Maddon wasn't too worried about Schwarber.
"I don't know how much wood chopping he does in the wintertime," Maddon said of the outfielder. "He didn't text me or say he was too sore to play. He sees all the right-handers coming up. We go to the West Coast, all the lefties [starting]. He's [been] sitting on the bench, he hates me. Now he gets all the righties."
Schwarber was impressed by the home run spurt by the Nationals' Bryce Harper in the final round.
"For Bryce to do what he did there, unbelievable," Schwarber said. "He racked up nine out of 10 [homers] at the end and that's pretty special. He had the whole crowd at his back. That's an extra motivator right there. For him to do what he did was awesome."
Schwarber had boxes next to his locker with all the goodies he got from the All-Star Game.
"It was a great experience," Schwarber said. "It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime thing to do that and especially to make the finals against the hometown guy. You get the crowd behind your back in the second round and you come out in the third round and they're booing you. It was a lot of fun.
"I could see myself do it again, but it might be a while," he said.
Cubs All-Stars Javier Baez and Willson Contreras did not start on Thursday to give them an extra day of rest. Maddon said he exchanged some text messages with Baez, who wanted to do "the John Wayne thing" and play, but the manager convinced the infielder to take the day off.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.