DENVER -- Eddie Butler's homecoming to Colorado -- the team he came up with before a February 2017 trade to the Cubs -- started inauspiciously, as the right-handed pitcher went on the 10-day disabled list with a right groin strain Friday. The Cubs recalled right-hander Luke Farrell from Triple-A Iowa.
"The groin is bothering him a little bit, so we just had to do something," manager Joe Maddon said. "We had to protect ourselves lengthwise in the bullpen."
Butler entered Thursday's 8-5 victory over the Cardinals in the seventh inning and allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits and two walks without retiring a batter. He said he started feeling something right before he went out and tried to pitch through it.
"It ended up affecting my finish -- it didn't have the late life it should have had," Butler said of the groin's effect on his pitching. "It just tightened up on me, felt like it wouldn't loosen up. Obviously four hitters in a row got on, let's go ahead and make a change."
Butler said he had never experienced a groin issue before.
"We just decided it was better to sit down a few days and get it right before we make this long haul," Butler said. "We want to make sure we nip it now and don't let it linger the whole year. That's the main thing, just getting back to full capacity where I really attack the guys. No point in stressing here in April when you've got six months left in the season."
Butler is 0-1 with a 4.30 ERA in six games covering 14 2/3 innings. He has walked five and struck out 10.
Farrell, 26, will take Butler's place as the long man in the 'pen. He has been starting for Iowa, where he is 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA in two starts. He made his Major League debut last season with Kansas City before joining Cincinnati in August, combining to post a 5.54 ERA in 10 appearances (one start) spanning 13 innings. Farrell had a 2.61 ERA in nine relief outings with the Reds last year.
"I was [relieving] in Spring Training, and last year I ended up relieving in Cincinnati, so it's something I'm looking forward to getting back to, especially just being here," Farrell said of his callup before the game. "You try to take advantage of every opportunity you get. That's my intention coming here -- relax, go about my work and do everything I can to help the team."
Farrell was scratched from his scheduled Triple-A start Thursday, heading instead to Colorado to meet up with the Cubs.
"We had a couple choices," Maddon said of the decision to promote Farrell. "Luke made a great impression at Spring Training. He's been in the big leagues, he's got a great pedigree and he's also a wonderful human being. I really like being around him. I guess he hasn't had the best of times in Triple-A yet, but this guy knows what to do on the Major League level, so we're excited to have him here."
Farrell was originally selected by the Royals in the sixth round of the 2013 Draft out of Northwestern University. He is the son of former Major League manager John Farrell and the brother of Jeremy, the Cubs' Minor League infield coordinator, and Shane, a regional crosschecker for the Cubs.