4/12 Veras out as closer for now
Manager Rick Renteria had a long talk Saturday morning with Jose Veras, and told him that as of now, the right-hander is no longer the Cubs closer and will be used in other situations to try to get back on track. Veras blew a two-run lead on Friday against the Cardinals and is 0-2 in save situations so far.
“I was just telling him we believe in him and we’ll try to find spots where he can continue to work through things he needs to work to get better,” Renteria said.
Veras knows there’s a problem.
“I don’t have an answer,” Veras said. “I can’t find myself. It’s kind of tough. I feel I’m good, my body feels good. I’m not hurt, I’m 100 percent healthy, thank God. For some reason, I can’t get three down. I’ve got to get going. Today is a new day and find a way to get out of there.
“Everybody has been in that position. … I know how to handle it, I’m not going to put my head down,” he said. “A couple bad outings, hopefully it’s going to stop. If it doesn’t, I’m going to keep fighting, keep working. I’ll never give up, brother. My stuff is there. For some reason, I can’t get it done. I try to pitch inside, hit a guy, try to throw front door breaking ball, hit a guy. Make good pitches, and they don’t swing at them. Make good pitches, and I don’t receive a call by the guy behind home plate. There’s too much stuff at the same time. It’s no excuse. I’ve got to get the job done.”
Who will be the Cubs closer? That’s to be determined on a game by game situation. Among the Cubs options are Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm.
“Right now what we’re going to do is see who emerges,” Renteria said. “We’ll use some of our other guys. We need to help [Veras] work through some things right now. I told him I have all the confidence in the world in him and I think he’ll be back.”
Renteria made the decision after talking with Veras.
“You have to be able to talk to your players and kind of get a feel where they’re at before you make decisions,” Renteria said.
— Carrie Muskat