No long-term worries for Fujikawa's arm
CHICAGO -- General manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday that reliever Kyuji Fujikawa did deal with some right arm discomfort toward the end of Spring Training, but the Cubs felt he was "ready to go" to start the year.
Fujikawa was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with a muscle strain in his right forearm. He has started his Cubs career 1-0 with two saves despite a 12.46 ERA (six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings) through five appearances out of the bullpen.
"Long-term, no, it's not a concern," Hoyer said. "He's been feeling good the last couple days. We'll get him some rest and kind of let him get away from it a little bit. He dealt with this at the end of Spring Training, and didn't throw a lot at the end of spring, and we felt that would get him right. This possibly should've been done at the end of spring going into the season, but we thought he was ready to go."
Fujikawa was named the closer after Carlos Marmol struggled early this year, but lately the Cubs have had to fare with a mix of relievers late in games. Hoyer said the team wants Fujikawa, who was signed to a two-year deal this winter after spending the last 12 seasons as a closer in Japan, to take some time recovering.
"It was really pretty obvious to everyone -- his command wasn't there, and this is a guy and that's really his strong suit," Hoyer said. "Watching him early in Spring Training, he had command of his fastball, and when he started losing that, you started wondering what a guy was covering up and what a guy's doing because of an injury, and his elbow was definitely barking."