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Need for speed? Cubs believe Medina has plenty

SAN DIEGO — Some reports on the Cubs’ newly acquired reliever, Yoervis Medina, 26, say his velocity is down 2-3 mph this year (to 92-93) compared to his first two seasons with Seattle, but manager Joe Maddon said reports from team scouts suggest he throws hard enough.

“I don’t know the number he was pitching at before,” Maddon said. “Nobody’s talked to me about less velocity. I was hearing more about swing and miss capability, with a breaking ball and sinking the ball, which are really attractive qualities.”

Maddon compared the right-hander to power-pitching Cubs setup man Pedro Srtop.

Medina, acquired Tuesday from Seattle in a trade for catcher Welington Castillo, has been in the minors since May 3, pitching four times and allowing one run in 5 2/3 innings (1.59 ERA) with four strikeouts and a walk. He’s been assigned to AAA Iowa, but Maddon said he expects him to become a part of his bullpen.

He has a 2.82 ERA in 141 career appearances for the Mariners over the last 2-plus seasons with 140 strikeouts in 137 innings.

If the Cubs wait to call him up until sometime late this summer, they can prevent Super 2 status and put off his arbitration eligibility until after next season.