Ian Stewart’s tenure with the Cubs could be brief.
According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, Stewart will undergo exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist next week in Cleveland and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Stewart has been sidelined since June 12, but his wrist has been an issue for far longer. In fact, it’s believed the discomfort could be related to a compression fracture he suffered in the minors in 2006.
Stewart was acquired from the Rockies last December along with right-hander Casey Weathers for outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder D.J. LeMahieu. The 27-year-old third baseman was hitting just .201/.292/.335 with five homers and a .627 OPS in 55 games prior to hitting the disabled list. He’s due a raise in arbitration this winter from $2,237,500 salary, so it’s safe to peg him as an early non-tender candidate.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.