Cubs recall Parker, option Rusin

ST. LOUIS -- The Chicago Cubs recalled righty pitcher Blake Parker from Triple-A Iowa and sent lefty Chris Rusin back down to Triple-A after he threw five innings in Saturday’s 10-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

“Parker gives a fresh arm,” manager Rick Renteria said Sunday morning.

The Cubs have been using their right-handed relievers often this season, having played three extra-inning games already. Parker was one of the last cuts at the end of spring training.

“I didn’t really pitch the way I wanted to,” he said. “My arm felt good, my body felt good but I just wasn’t getting it done.”

Parker posted a 2.72 ERA in 49 relief appearances for the Cubs last season and is the all-time saves leader for Iowa with 42. The Cubs have an opening at closer now that Jose Veras has been relieved of those duties.

“It’s the hardest job for a pitcher, to get those last three outs,” Parker said. “I just want to get outs whether that be in the ninth inning or the sixth inning.”

Renteria has indicated he’ll use the best matchup when it comes to closing out games right now, until someone emerges as a longer-term solution.