Cubs News

Cubs injury woes continue as key pitcher lands on IL

1 week agoAndy Martinez

The injury bug continues to bite the Cubs — like it has all season.

The team placed rookie righty Ben Brown on the 15-day IL with a left neck strain and activated righty reliever Colten Brewer off the IL.

Brown has been a revelation for the Cubs this season. Called up after Justin Steele suffered a hamstring injury on Opening Day, Brown has been a Swiss Army Knife for Counsell — he’s been used as a reliever and starter and posted a 3.58 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with 64 strikeouts in 55.1 innings.

The 24-year-old started Saturday’s loss to the Reds, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits (2 home runs) in 4 innings. He had thrown just 65 pitches when he was replaced by Jordan Wicks.

Brown had stepped into the rotation after injuries to Wicks and Steele and struggles from Kyle Hendricks. Now, the Cubs will likely turn to Wicks to fill that spot in the rotation. Wicks was on the IL with a left forearm strain and Saturday’s appearance was his first in over a month. The Cubs kept Wicks stretched out for a situation just like this.

Dtc Ads

Brewer, 31, was an interesting relief option for Counsell before he landed on the IL with a low back strain in mid-May. The righty had a 3.09 ERA in 11.2 innings with 12 strikeouts and had allowed an earned run in just 2 of his 7 appearances. Over his last 4 outings before the injury, Brewer had a 0.00 ERA in 6.1 innings with 9 strikeouts and opponents were hitting .150 off him.

His return gives Counsell another choice in his bullpen. The Cubs bullpen has struggled this season — they have the third most blown saves (13) in baseball and are 22nd in ERA (4.33).

Héctor Neris has emerged as the team’s closer this season, with Mark Leiter Jr. as a key leverage arm. Hayden Wesneski has developed into a trusted reliever, too, but Brewer gives Counsell another weapon out of the bullpen that lessens the weight on those key relievers.

Don’t Miss Out On The Action!

Sign up for the Marquee Sports Network Newsletter today for all the latest Cubs news, plus upcoming Marquee programming and much more!

Newsletter Signup
Consent *
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.