The Chicago Cubs all of a sudden are experiencing significant concerns with their bullpen. That is because over the last eight days, they have had to put three relief pitchers on the 10 day injury list. On August 5, it was Craig Kimbrel with right knee inflammation. On August 6, it was Brandon Kintzler with right pectoral inflammation (chest) and on August 10, it was Steve Cishek with left hip inflammation.
In addition to the three players who went on the injury list, Kyle Ryan left the Cubs for four days as he was placed on the bereavement/family medical emergency list before being reinstated on Tuesday. If there was a positive in these various injuries and absences, none of the four Cubs pitchers are experiencing arm trouble.
Kimbrel of Huntsville, AL, has experienced challenges as the Cubs closer since signing with them late in the season on June 7 from the Boston Red Sox. Despite having nine saves in 14 games, he has a record of zero wins and two losses, a poor earned run average of 5.68 and WHIP of 1.66. In only 12 2/3 innings, Kimbrel has given up 13 hits, eight walks and one hit batsman. However it should be noted that Kimbrel has only blown two of 11 save opportunities. Even though he is giving up earned runs, he is preserving wins for the Cubs.
Kintzler of Las Vegas. NV, is in his second season with the Cubs since joining them from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline last season. He has been excellent for the Cubs in 2019 with a record of two wins, one loss, an earned run average of 2.33 and WHIP of 0.93. In 46 1/3 innings pitched, Kintzler has only given up 12 earned runs.
Cishek of Falmouth, MA, has a record of three wins, five losses, an earned run average of 3.58, WHIP of 1.17, and given up 20 earned runs in 50 1/3 innings. He also has seven saves.
With Kimbrel on the injury list, Pedro Strop takes over closer duties. Other pitchers in the bullpen are Tyler Chatwood, Rowan Wick, Derek Holland, David Phelps, Duane Underwood Jr. and Alec Mills. Wick and Holland have been outstanding for Chicago as Wick has an earned run average of 1.72 in 14 games and Holland has an earned run average of 1.35 in seven games.
The Cubs lead the National League Central at the moment. They have a two game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals and a two and a half game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers.