The Cubs added a veteran left-hander to their bullpen Saturday when they activated Xavier Cedeno off the injured list and placed right-hander Allen Webster on the IL with radial nerve (elbow) inflammation.
Cedeno, 33, signed with the Cubs on Feb. 14 and was on the IL since March with left wrist inflammation. He got into Saturday’s 2-1, 15-inning victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, facing one batter and issuing a walk in the 12th.
“I’ve watched this guy pitch for a bit, been a big fan for a while,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “He permits us to really match up left on left. However, he’s able to get righties out, too. I love his veteran-ship. It’s exciting.
“This team here [Milwaukee] has got some lefties you’ve got to spot up on. They’ve got a switch hitter (Yasmani Grandal) that you’d rather see hit right-handed. With Monty (Mike Montgomery) throwing as much as he did the other day, [Kyle] Ryan one quick inning [Friday], it kind of benefits us right now and then going into Cincinnati, too. There’s some good lefties over there, too.”
Cedeno has pitched in the major leagues since 2011, with Houston, Washington, Tampa Bay, the White Sox and Milwaukee.
He split time between the Sox and Milwaukee last year, getting into four games of the National League championship series against the Dodgers.
Lots of bullpen options
The addition of Xavier Cedeno gives the Cubs three lefties in the pen. Cedeno joins Mike Montgomery and Kyle Ryan.
Montgomery is a wild card. He worked five scoreless innings of relief Thursday against the Miami Marlins. He can work short or long, and he is fresh off the injured list.
“He was good the other day,” Maddon said. “He was really good. I told him right afterward. I said I loved his assertiveness, his confidence. Everything about him was just like, whoa, really lasered in. His focus was that good. He maintains that; you’re going to see him do that often. That’s not an anomaly moment for him. He could do that often.
“That’s as good as I’ve seen him in a while, period. We had heard he threw like that in the minor leagues (during a rehab stint), came back up here, the guys told me in the bullpen it’s spectacular. Then we saw it in the game.”
Caratini moves up
Backup catcher Victor Caratini has gone from Class A South Bend to Triple-A Iowa to continue his rehab assignment.
Caratini had surgery four weeks ago Monday to remove the hamate bone from his left hand. It’s possible he could be activated during the upcoming road trip.