Jon Lester is expected to go on the injured list prior to tonight’s game against the Pirates. He left in the third inning of the Cubs home opener on Monday with hamstring tightness and had an MRI on Tuesday.
According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, the Cubs will be calling up left-hander Tim Collins from Triple-A.
Collins, 29, missed all of 2015 and 2016 after having two Tommy John surgeries. He returned to pitch in the minors in 2017 and was decent last year at Triple-A, recording a 3.94 ERA in 32 innings. Collins made it back to MLB in 2018, appearing in 38 games with the Nationals. He threw 22.2 innings and had a 4.37 ERA.
Collins has a 3.62 ERA in 233.2 career MLB innings. He made his MLB debut with the Royals in 2011, and in four seasons he had a 3.54 ERA in Kansas City. In 2012, his best season, Collins struck out 93 batters in 69.2 innings.
So far this season at Iowa, Collins has given up a run on two hits in 2.1 innings, striking out three and walking one.
It appears as though Tyler Chatwood will fill in once or twice for Lester in the starting rotation and with Collins coming up the Cubs could also be planning another move in the bullpen.
The Cubs already have lefty Kyle Ryan, so adding Collins gives Joe Maddon two relievers from the left side. The Cubs started the season with only two lefty relievers, so maybe Randy Rosario gets optioned down in place of a right-hander to take Chatwood’s spot in the bullpen.
Rosario did have a solid outing on Monday, when he pitched two scoreless innings against the Pirates. He began the season allowing five runs in three innings.
So, Collins up for Lester. Chatwood most likely filling in for Lester in the rotation and maybe Rosario gets optioned down later.
The Cubs have officially placed Jon Lester on the 10-day IL. Tim Collins has been called up.
Another bullpen move could happen on Sunday, when Lester’s spot in the rotation comes up against the Angels.