6/3 Cubs like young arms; Veras DFA
The Cubs decided they liked their young relievers in the bullpen, and designated Jose Veras for assignment on Tuesday. The move was necessary to create a roster spot for reliever Hector Rondon, who returned from paternity leave after the birth of his son, Ian Jose, on Friday. Veras, projected at the start of the season as the Cubs’ closer, had an 8.10 ERA in 12 games. Rondon replaced the veteran as the Cubs’ closer before Veras went on the disabled list April 26 with a strained left oblique. The Cubs signed Veras on Dec. 27 to a one-year, $4 million deal with a club option for 2015.
“You’re disappointed when you sign a free agent and bring in a veteran and it didn’t work out,” GM Jed Hoyer said Tuesday. “I think he’ll land on his feet.”
The Cubs had hoped Veras, 33, would stabilize the bullpen but he struggled at the start of the season, giving up 10 earned runs over 5 2/3 innings in April for a 15.88 ERA. Last year, he walked eight over 19 2/3 innings for the Tigers; this year, he walked 11 over 13 1/3 innings.
Rondon was 6-for-7 in save situations with a 1.59 ERA in 22 games overall, and the Cubs have relied on rookies Brian Schlitter, Neil Ramirez and Justin Grimm.
“For us, when we sat down and made the decision, ultimately we have a lot of young guys playing well and competing well in important leverage situations,” Hoyer said. “We want to stick with those guys right now.”
The Cubs will continue to carry 13 pitchers. Most teams have 12, but manager Rick Renteria said he didn’t feel short-handed, and they want to be careful with pitch counts for the young relief corps.
— Carrie Muskat