Javier Assad

Cubs place Javier Assad on 15-day injured list, officially sign Vinny Nittoli

Assad is heading to the IL with a right forearm strain

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The Cubs are placing starter Javier Assad on the 15-day injured list, the team announced on Thursday.

Assad is going on the injured list with a right forearm extensor strain. It's a huge blow to the Cubs' starting rotation, as Assad has been a major asset on the bump for the North Side this season. And with Jordan Wicks and Ben Brown also on the injured list, the Cubs are running thin on starters.

Through 16 starts, Assad is holding a 4-3 record on the bump. He's pitched through 83 innings, holding a stellar 3.04 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. He has 79 strikeouts and 33 walks to his name, too.

Who will step up in Assad's place? That remains to be seen. But they added a bullpen arm on Thursday, trading for right-handed reliever Vinny Nittoli. They made the trade official to reporters in San Francisco.

Nittoli, 33, was recently DFA'd (designated for assignment) by the Athletics. In seven games this season, he's pitched eight innings, holding a 2.25 ERA and 1.250 WHIP.

The Cubs' bullpen has easily been their most glaring weakness this season, as they stand 23rd in MLB in bullpen ERA (4.52) with a 1.37 WHIP.

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