Injury woes to the Chicago Cubs' bullpen do not appear to be letting up with just a handful of games remaining in the regular season, as the club announced that veteran reliever Brad Boxberger has been placed on the 15-day IL with a right forearm strain ahead of Saturday afternoon's game against the Colorado Rockies.
Righty bullpen arm Keegan Thompson has been recalled from Triple-A Iowa in the corresponding move.
Boxberger, 35, was signed to a one-year, $2.8 million deal this offseason with a mutual option for 2024 after a couple strong campaigns with the rival Milwaukee Brewers.
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The veteran showed remarkable durability from 2021-22, appearing in 141 games while posting a strong 3.15 ERA with 151 strikeouts in 128.2 innings of work.
His extensive usage in Milwaukee may have played a role in Boxberger's injury-ridden 2023 season, in which he has appeared in just 22 games, battling forearm issues for much of the season.
After appearing in 17 games through May 13, Boxberger did not appear in another contest for nearly four months, getting back into action on Sept. 12 in Denver against the Rockies.
Boxberger appeared in five games since returning from his long IL stint, posting scoreless outings in the first four before surrendering two earned runs and a walk in a rough performance Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The length of the IL placement means that Boxberger's regular season has come to an end, with 11 walks, 17 strikeouts and a 4.95 ERA across 20 innings of work.
As for Thompson, the right-hander will look to provide some stability to a fledgling Cubs bullpen in his third stint with the big league team in 2023.
The 28-year-old righty has pitched to mostly mixed results in 2023, holding a 4.71 ERA across 19 appearances this year, marking a reduction of work after being a mainstay swing arm for the North Siders the past two seasons.
Thompson has totaled 19 walks and 26 strikeouts over 28.2 innings, with a 4.45 FIP suggesting that he has been slightly unlucky in his big league work this season.
The Cubs will look to pick up a necessary series victory over the Rockies on Saturday, with first pitch from All-Star Marcus Stroman scheduled for 1:20 p.m. local time.