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Ramirez to DL in flurry of moves for Cubs

Chicago adds Medina, Rowen to bullpen; Beeler optioned, Baxter DFA'd

CHICAGO -- Neil Ramirez sneezed on Sunday and felt a sharp pain on his left side. The right-hander now is on the disabled list because of what's being described as abdominal soreness, which he felt warming up Tuesday night.

"Abdominal soreness via the sneeze -- I don't know where it's all at," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday.

Ramirez felt good warming up Tuesday night, but threw a slider, felt some pain and had to stop.

"I couldn't fight through it," Ramirez said. "With everything I do to stay healthy and strong, it's baffling that it's an oblique."

The right-hander was sidelined from April 17 to June 28 with inflammation in his right shoulder, and has only pitched in 13 games this year.

Video: CIN@CHC: Ramirez exits the game in the 9th inning

"It's been a tough year -- I'm not going to lie and say it hasn't," Ramirez said. "I'm not going to say it's the end of the world. Hopefuly, it's something quick."

• Catcher Miguel Montero, on the DL since July 12 with a sprained left thumb, was in the clubhouse after Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Rockies at Wrigley Field. He'll be re-examined by a hand specialist on Thursday. Montero has been rehabbing at the Cubs' facility in Mesa, Ariz., hitting for the past week and catching some bullpen sessions.

"Obviously, if I wait to be 100 percent, it's going to be season-ending," Montero said. "In my own mind, I think I can go right now."

Video: CWS@CHC: Montero injures thumb, later leaves game

• The Cubs added two fresh arms to the bullpen on Wednesday, recalling right-handed pitcher Yoervis Medina and selecting the contract of right-handed pitcher Ben Rowen from Triple-A Iowa. To make room for Rowen on the 40-man roster, infielder/outfielder Mike Baxter was designated for assignment. Right-hander Dallas Beeler, who started on Tuesday night, was optioned to Iowa.

Rowen, 26, joins the Cubs after combining to go 4-0 with one save and a 1.93 ERA in 34 relief outings for three affiliates between the Orioles and Cubs organizations. He was a non-roster invitee this spring with the Dodgers before being acquired by the Orioles as part of a four-player deal on April 9.

A sinkerball pitcher, Rowen was surprised to get the call Tuesday night.

"It's been interesting," the right-hander said of his season. "I think this is my fourth or fifth team now. It's been a fun year."

"It's nice to have the guy who can come in the middle innings, get the ball on the ground, get two outs with one pitch," Maddon said.

Plus, Maddon likes the idea of having a side-arm pitcher in the mix.

"I love funk," Maddon said. "I've always been a funk guy. The funk's good."

Video: MIA@CHC: Richard holds Marlins to two in Cubs debut

• Left-hander Clayton Richard gave up three hits over seven scoreless innings for Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday, and was expected to be added to the Cubs' roster and fill the fifth starter spot in the rotation. The Cubs have been rumored to be looking for a fifth starter by Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"I know our guys are hunkered down in the war room going over the different options," Maddon said of the front office. "We have options regarding the fifth starter in-house. We'll see how it plays out."

• Infielder Tommy La Stella headed to Double-A Tennessee to begin a rehab assignment. He's been sidelined since April 9 with right rib cage inflammation.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
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