Chad Fox up, Kevin Hart down

The Cubs made a roster move today with middle relief pitchers Chad Fox and Kevin Hart. Here’s the official release:

CHICAGO The Chicago Cubs today selected right-handed pitcher Chad Fox from Double-A Tennessee. To make room for Fox on the 25-man roster, righthander Kevin Hart was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. In a separate move, the Cubs outrighted righthander Juan Mateo to Single-A Daytona.

Fox will wear uniform No. 44 and be available for tonights game in St. Louis. Chicagos 40-man roster is at 38 players.

The 37-year-old Fox last pitched professionally in 2005 with the Cubs, posting no record and one save with a 6.75 ERA (6 ER/8.0 IP) in 11 relief appearances before landing on the disabled list on April 26 with a right elbow strain, an injury that ended his season. He had since been out of professional baseball before signing a minor league contract with an invitation to Cubs major league spring training on January 11, 2008.

Fox made just one spring training appearance with the Cubs this season before being slowed by right tricep strain. In addition to time at extended spring training, he made four minor league relief outings, three with Single-A Daytona and one with Double-A Tennessee. Fox tossed four scoreless innings in Daytona, allowing only one hit, before allowing four runs in 0.2 innings in his one Double-A appearance.

The righthander is 10-11 with six saves and a 3.57 ERA (89 ER/224.1 IP) in 214 major league relief appearances in all or part of eight big league seasons with Atlanta (1997), Milwaukee (1998-99, 2001-02), Boston (2003), Florida (2003-04) and the Cubs (2005). He has 261 strikeouts in 224.1 innings pitched, an average of 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings, and has limited opponents to a .231 batting average.

Fox enjoyed his best major league campaign with the Brewers in 2001, going 5-2 with two saves and a 1.89 ERA (14 ER/66.2 IP) in a career-high 65 appearances. Fox was also a member of the 2003 World Champion Florida Marlins, going 2-1 with a 2.13 (6 ER/25.1 IP) in 21 outings after signing with the club that August.

Hart, a member of Chicagos Opening Day roster, went 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA (9 ER/16.0 IP) in 10 relief appearances with the Cubs, collecting his first two big league wins.

Mateo has pitched for Iowa and Tennessee this season, combining to go 1-0 with a 16.20 ERA (15 ER/8.1 IP) in six relief appearances.

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