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Cubs add reinforcements to bullpen ahead of pivotal stretch

4 weeks agoTony Andracki

The Cubs are in the midst of a crucial stretch in their schedule as they square off against a trio of division rivals in quick succession.

This weekend in St. Louis marks the Cubs’ first showdown with the Cardinals this season and then Craig Counsell will make his first trip back to Milwaukee on the other side of the rivalry for a 4-game series beginning on Monday.

The Cubs will then return home to play host to the Reds for 3 games starting next weekend.

It’s an important part of the season and could have a major impact on the final standings in what is shaping up to be a heated divisional race.

The Cubs are adding some reinforcements for that run, as they activated veteran southpaw Drew Smyly off the IL before Saturday’s 7-6 loss. José Cuas was optioned to the minors in a corresponding move.

App Promo Dansby Swinging

Smyly, 34, was placed on the IL on April 22 with a right hip impingement. Prior to landing on the shelf, he had worked exclusively out of the bullpen for the Cubs with a 4.97 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 9 appearances.

He is capable of pitching multiple innings out of the bullpen or being utilized in short bursts against lefty-heavy pockets in the opposing lineups.

Smyly split time last year between the rotation and bullpen. He had a 5.62 ERA and 1.48 WHIP as a starter and a 2.51 ERA and 1.22 WHIP as a reliever.

The Cubs have been searching for stability in the bullpen all season. Smyly’s addition will help that, especially given the Cardinals and Brewers both have key left-handed hitters in their lineups.

Cuas has a 7.43 ERA and 1.65 WHIP this season in 9 appearances in the big leagues.

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