CHICAGO -- Reliever Neil Ramirez, who was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Saturday to give him some rest, was placed on the Major League disabled list on Tuesday because of soreness in his right triceps.
Ramirez had given up three earned runs over 28 innings in 33 games, for a 0.96 ERA, and the Cubs made clear that Saturday's demotion to the Minors was not performance-related. But Ramirez experienced some soreness, which prompted the team to switch him to the DL, retroactive to Saturday.
"All year we've talked about giving these guys some rest," general manager Jed Hoyer said on Tuesday. "You convert a bunch of starting pitchers to the bullpen, they've never done it before, and that was the intention -- to give him a rest. We've tried our hardest to be careful with him, getting him up and down, and not pitching back-to-back days."
When Ramirez was optioned, the plan had been for him to be sidelined the minimum 10 days, but now he will have 15 days to rest, and he is expected to return once the DL stint is over.
"That was probably the right way to handle it once he was sore," Hoyer said.
Manager Rick Renteria said that the Cubs may try to give other relievers some extended rest, but Hoyer hopes that isn't necessary. When rosters expand in September, the Cubs should have reinforcements.
"In general, we've seen a dip in performance with our young relievers, and they all look a little bit tired," Hoyer said. "If we can give those guys a rest, we will."
There has been no discussion about having Ramirez stretched out to start.
"He's a pretty emotional guy, and sometimes those guys fare well out of the bullpen," Hoyer said of the rookie. "You see the fist pump when he gets a big punchout. He doesn't shy away from the big at-bat."
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.Less