Saturday was a busy day for the Cubs and it was sure chalked full of different emotions. While the team picked up a tally in the loss column against the San Francisco Giants, that is not where most of the headlines were coming from.
After leaving Friday nights game with an injury sustained while making an unbelievable diving catch on the warning track, Jason Heyward has been officially ruled out for 3 to 5 days following an MRI that revealed a rib contusion. The injury will not require a DL stint and hopefully Heyward and his stellar defense can be back out on the field soon.
Another outfielder that sustained an injury that did require DL time is back. Matt Szczur has been activated off the 15-day DL and will be back just in time to fill in for Heyward. Szczur was tearing the cover off of the ball before he hurt his hamstring and hopefully his time out won’t affect his hot bat too much. After just one rehab start in Tennessee, Szczur will be thrown right into the fire in Chicago.
To make room for Szczur on the 25-man roster, reliever Neil Ramirez was designated for assignment. After little more than a season of injuries, reduced velocity, and ineffectiveness out of the bullpen, the Cubs have decided to move on from the same guy that showed a lot of promise in 2014, a season in which he was the Cubs best reliever. With the DFA occurring on Saturday, the team has 10 days to trade, waive, or release Ramirez. Of course it is still possible for Ramirez to clear waivers and be outrighted to AAA Iowa but that is highly unlikely. A team with more bullpen troubles than the Cubs (most teams) is all but guaranteed to claim him. Best of luck to Neil Ramirez.
After the shuffling, the 25-man roster now sits at 13 position players vs. 12 pitchers.