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Cubs could mix and match with shuffled 'pen

Cubs could mix and match with shuffled 'pen play video for Cubs could mix and match with shuffled 'pen

CHICAGO -- With Kyuji Fujikawa out for the season because of elbow problems, the Cubs will need to shuffle their bullpen again.

Fujikawa has a torn UCL in his right elbow, and he will undergo Tommy John surgery. No date has been set for the procedure.

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"Depth is what you need to have in the game," manager Dale Sveum said. "Everybody has their problems, everybody has their injuries. Obviously, we got hit with a big blow. Other people just have to step up and fill those roles and do the best we can."

Fujikawa had taken over the closer's job after Carlos Marmol struggled in the first week of the season. But Fujikawa then had to go on the disabled list because of a strained forearm April 10. When he returned, Kevin Gregg had taken over the closer's job, and Fujikawa was used as a late-inning setup man.

"The bullpen was solidified there, and now it'll be a little different," Sveum said. "[Rafael] Dolis is throwing the ball like he has been and [Hector] Rondon has been fine. Marmol has been doing a good job. We'll just make do and see how it all stacks up."

Marmol can be used in the late innings, depending on matchups. The Cubs also shifted Carlos Villanueva to the bullpen when Matt Garza came off the disabled list.

"We have some guys there, but it'll be a mix and match in the seventh and eighth inning with the lead," Sveum said.

Fujikawa signed a two-year, $9.5 million contract with the Cubs last December, and there is a 2015 club option that will become guaranteed based on games finished in 2014. He was a closer for 12 seasons in Japan with Hanshin. Will Fujikawa be the Cubs' closer next year?

"That's a long way away," Sveum said. "I've got enough to worry about right now than to worry about next year's closer."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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