Brian Duensing Activated, Decision on La Stella & Szczur May Follow
Brian Duensing has been activated off the disabled list to take the roster spot that opened when Carl Edwards Jr. went on the bereavement list (official press release below). Duensing has been effective in his short rehab stint at Triple-A Iowa, giving up only one hit and striking out five over three innings pitched. He could be a valuable left-handed option out of the bullpen for the Cubs.
It’s unknown exactly when Edwards will return to the Cubs, but when he does it’s very possible that Duensing will stay on the active roster. That means a decision on what to do with Tommy La Stella and Matt Szczur. The most likely scenario would see La Stella optioned to Iowa, mainly because Szczur is seen as a valuable part of the lineup and he’s also out of minor league options.
We’ll be keeping an eye on how this unfolds, though we probably won’t see a repeat of last season, when La Stella chose to go AWOL rather than accept an assignment. Of course, we’re hoping all of this works out as well as possible.
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today activated left-handed pitcher Brian Duensing off of the 10-day disabled list and placed right-handed pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. on the bereavement list.
Duensing will be available for the Cubs this afternoon as they begin their three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.
The 34-year-old Duensing began the season on the disabled list due to lower back tightness during spring training and made two rehab outings for Triple-A Iowa, tossing three scoreless innings while striking out five and walking none.
Duensing is 42-37 with two saves, 45 holds and a 4.13 ERA (304 ER/666.2 IP) in 368 major league appearances (307 in relief, 61 as a starter) covering eight major league seasons with the Minnesota Twins (2009-15) and Baltimore Orioles (2016). In his career, he has limited left-handed hitters to a .236 batting average (205-for-867), a .286 on-base percentage and a .328 slugging percentage, good for a .614 opponents OPS. Duensing has walked only 50 of the 946 left-handed hitters he has faced, an average of one walk per 19 plate appearances.
Edwards Jr. has tossed five scoreless outings this season covering 4.2 innings pitched, allowing just one hit, walking three and striking out four.