Bruce Chen expected to be placed on disabled list

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Bruce Chen was scratched from his start earlier this week due to a swollen disk in his back and now Royals manager Ned Yost tells Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star that he expects the veteran left-hander to be placed on the disabled list.

Chen said earlier this week that the injury was giving him “constant pain” and received an epidural injection to ease the swelling. He had a bullpen session this afternoon, but apparently isn’t feeling much improvement.

With Chen sidelined, Danny Duffy is expected to start in his place Saturday against the Tigers. Duffy has been pitching out of the bullpen since coming up from the minors last month, so he’ll likely only throw 65-70 pitches his first time out.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.