Cubs Veteran Reliever Placed on the IL

Before their series finale against the Dodgers, the Cubs placed veteran reliever Julian Merryweather on the IL. The second-year Cub, who has four appearances this season, has a right shoulder issue.

Merryweather has struck out six and walked two in 4 2/3 innings. Early in 2024, the 32-year-old has a 1.93 ERA and 1.286 WHIP. The Cubs bullpen, which hasn't been injured yet, takes this.

Career-defining year for Merryweather was 2023. Former Toronto Blue Jay signed with Chicago on a minor league contract in spring training. Due to his strong camp, he was given a bullpen job early in the season.

Merryweather played 69 Cubs games in 2023. He went 72 innings with a 3.38 ERA and 1.306 WHIP. At 3.52, the right-hander was second in Cubs relief FIP behind Adbert Alzolay (3.02).

Merryweather's powerful heater was instantly felt in a slow bullpen. His statistical performance and pitch mix made it easy for the Cubs to invite him back in 2024.

Additionally, Triple-A Iowa will call Daniel Palencia to join the team. Palencia debuted in the majors last summer for the Cubs and played 27 games in two stints. The Cubs' San Carlos, Venezuela native pitched 28 1/3 innings last season. He had a 4.45 ERA, 1.271 WHIP, and 2.4 K/BB.

Palencia, like Merryweather, is fast. However, the youthful right-hander's command could present problems if not addressed in the winter. Alzolay, Mark Leiter Jr., and first-year Cub Hector Neris join Palencia in a right-handed bullpen.