Cubs’ Neil Ramirez back; Tsuyoshi Wada to DL

SHARE Cubs’ Neil Ramirez back; Tsuyoshi Wada to DL

ST. LOUIS – An afternoon of roster activity by the Cubs Sunday restored strength to the bullpen, suggested hope for a struggling lineup and threw the back end of the starting rotation into greater flux.

Most significantly, the Cubs activated right-hander Neil Ramirez after two months on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, putting the late-inning corps back to full strength.

The Cubs also placed fifth starter Tsuyoshi Wada on the DL, retroactive to Tuesday, because of a lingering shoulder injury and added Saturday’s spot starter, Donn Roach, to the bullpen until they make a decision on who will take that turn in the rotation next Saturday against Miami.

They also sent rookie right-fielder Jorge Soler (ankle) to AAA Iowa to start an injury rehab assignment they hope will lead to a return from the DL next weekend at home.

Ramirez, who produced a 1.44 ERA as a rookie last season, had one setback during his rehab work but said he’s confident he’s ready to make an impact for a bullpen that was seen as a team strength when the season opened.

“I’m just here to continue what these guys have been doing,” he said of a pen that has produced a 1.78 ERA over the past 32 games since manager Joe Maddon started using a committee approach to the setup and closer roles.

“Obviously, this team is so special, and we have a chance to really, really be good. And we are good. I’m just ready to get back and help that out.”

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