On Monday, the Chicago Cubs put right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa on the 15-day disabled list with what they termed a muscular strain of his right forearm. But the news got worse Wednesday, as it was ruled he will be out for the season after results of an MRI revealed a torn ulnar-collateral ligament in his right elbow. He'll undergo surgery once swelling is reduced.
"I think the message (from management) was it already happened so we want you to come back stronger," Fujikawa told the Chicago Tribune. "I think this surgery has a high success rate and it has history as well so I believe in that. I'm sure it's going to be a long process for rehab, but I'm willing to work through it and try to come back strong."
"It was a big blow," Cubs manager Dale Sveum told the Chicago Tribune. "Obviously other people will just have to step up and fill those roles and do the best we can."
To fill Fujikawa's immediate spot on the roster, the Cubs claimed right-handed reliever Alex Burnett off waivers from Baltimore. Burnett saw action in 67 games last year with Minnesota.
Fujikawa took over as closer in early April after Carlos Marmol struggled. After his DL stint, Fujikawa went back to a setup role, with Kevin Gregg closing.
"Things were obviously lining up, and things were going pretty good in the back end of the bullpen that way," Sveum said. "We'll make do, somehow. Marmol's been getting a lot of people out in the role he's in, whether it's the seventh inning, eighth inning. Probably just slide him right in there (setup role) or (lefty James) Russell, depending on left-handed lineups and stuff like that."