A day after getting his first major league win—and after his first blown save—Cubs closer Kyuji Fujikawa went on the disabled list Saturday with a muscle strain in his right forearm.
The condition is one the former Japanese closer star has had before, Fujikawa said, adding it is a “short term’’ problem.
He will be evaluated further but first indications are nothing more serious, such as elbow involvement, manager Dale Sveum said.
The Cubs recalled reliever Rafael Dolis from Class AAA Iowa, but he will not take the closer’s role—nor will demoted closer Carlos Marmol.Sveum said he would decide who finishes games based on match-ups and situations, with lefty James Russell and righthander Shawn Camp the likely leading candidates.
The move came as a surprise, though Fujikawa said he has felt the problem coming on gradually in recent days. It caused him to change his delivery Friday during a ninth inning appearance against the San Francisco Giants when he lost a 2-0 lead, giving up three runs on three hits, a hit batter and wild pitch.
The Cubs came back in the ninth to win the game, giving Fujikawa the victory.
“He said the last couple day it’s been bothering him a little bit,’’ Sveum said.
“I don’t think I’ll use Marmol now. Maybe down the road, but I want to keep him in the role he is now [middle relief.]’’
Fujikawa said he didn’t feel he had command of his pitches and considered saying something before Friday’s outing. He didn’t want to continue trying to pitch without being effective, he said.
“We have a long season and it’s an important role for the team and I’m not helping the team,’’ he said through interpreter Ryo Shinkawa.
His injury is the latest to the Cubs pitching staff, which has Matt Garza and Scott Baker already on the disabled list.
Garza’s return from a strained lat is hoped for by mid May. Baker, who had Tommy John surgery last year, was in Chicago Saturday to be evaluated again for a possible date to begin a throwing program.