LOS ANGELES -- The Cubs' bullpen got a boost with the return of closer Brandon Morrow in time for Wednesday's game against the Dodgers."I'm ready to go," Morrow said Tuesday.The right-hander, who has been sidelined since June 20 with lower back tightness, threw a bullpen session on Monday and said
LOS ANGELES -- The Cubs' bullpen got a boost with the return of closer Brandon Morrow in time for Wednesday's game against the Dodgers.
"I'm ready to go," Morrow said Tuesday.
The right-hander, who has been sidelined since June 20 with lower back tightness, threw a bullpen session on Monday and said it went well. He felt back spasms while taking his pants off on June 18 and admitted he's being careful now when dressing.
"I've been sitting down," Morrow said.
"Getting back to full strength will be good, interesting, better," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We've just got to play through these moments. Everyone goes through it on an annual basis. It's part of 162 [games]."
Right-hander Cory Mazzoni was optioned to Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move.
DARVISH REJOINS CUBS
Yu Darvish rejoined the Cubs on Tuesday after a five inning rehab start on Monday with Class A South Bend. The plan now is for Darvish to play catch on Wednesday, then throw a bullpen on Thursday. After that, the Cubs will have a better idea as to whether the right-hander is ready to return to the rotation.
Darvish has been on the disabled list since May 26 because of tendinitis in his right triceps. He threw 57 pitches on Monday.
There was no update on when Tyler Chatwood would return to the Cubs rotation. The right-hander was on the paternity list after his wife gave birth to their first child on Sunday night.
There was no update on when Tyler Chatwood would return to the rotation. He was on the paternity list after his wife gave birth to their first child on Sunday night.
The Cubs tweaked the bullpen with some roster moves on Tuesday. Justin Hancock was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Right-handed pitchers Luke Farrell and Dillon Maples were recalled from Triple-A Iowa and at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.
Right-hander Duane Underwood Jr., who made his first Major League start on Monday against the Dodgers, was optioned to Iowa on Tuesday.
This is the fourth time Farrell has been called up. He started on Saturday against the Reds. Maples appeared in six games last season with the Cubs, all in relief. Maples has five saves in 26 relief outings with Iowa this season. He has struck out 42 and walked 24 over 25 1/3 innings, and has limited opponents to a .170 average.
The Cubs also should get C.J. Edwards back soon. The right-hander threw another bullpen on Tuesday and could be close to a Minor League rehab outing. Edwards has been sidelined with inflammation in his right shoulder since May 30.
Hitting coach Chili Davis called a team meeting prior to Tuesday's game. Maddon did not take part.
"I really like to stay out of the coaches' way," Maddon said. "Let them teach. If they want me involved, if they need me involved, I will."
However, Maddon has not been pleased with the offense during the Cubs' five-game losing streak.
"[We have to] organize the strike zone and be more efficient with runners in scoring position," Maddon said. "Those are the two areas I really want to see improvement in."
Maddon said he's not alone, listing several other managers who feel the same way.
"It's the nature of the business now," he said.
LONGTIME CLUBHOUSE MANAGER DIES
Yosh Kawano, who began working with the Cubs as a bat boy in Spring Training in 1935 and was the clubhouse manager for decades, died Monday night. He was 97. Kawano worked under 37 Cubs managers, 12 general managers and two owners. He got a full-time job with the team as the visiting clubhouse attendant in 1943, and spent 65 years working for the Cubs.
His trademark white floppy hat is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
"For nearly 70 years, Yosh Kawano devoted himself to our club and players -- calling Wrigley Field home and treating them as family," said Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts in a statement. "He served in the U.S. Army then returned to the Friendly Confines, where he would eventually settle in as equipment manager in 1953. In the decades that followed, he enjoyed deep and colorful relationships with players, members of the front office and the media.
"Everyone knew Yosh by his trademark white floppy fishing hat, which has been on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum since his retirement in 2008," Ricketts said. "Yosh was truly one of a kind and an integral part of our Cubs family and history. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and legions of fans."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.