As Veras rehabs, Cubs improvise at closer

May, 2, 2014
May 2
4:27
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer is optimistic his team can develop a closer as the one they signed in the offseason, veteran Jose Veras, tries to find his game.

[+] EnlargeJose Veras
Brian D. Kersey/Getty ImagesInjured Cubs reliever Jose Veras has 10 walks in 5 2/3 innings this season.
"That's been a frustrating one, and I think kind of shows you the perils of free agency a little bit," Hoyer said before the Cubs played the Cardinals on Friday. "I think (Veras) walked 13 (14) guys as a closer in 43 innings with the (Houston) Astros last year. He had no walks last year in the postseason with the (Detroit) Tigers and he comes here and doesn't throw strikes."

Veras went on the disabled list earlier this week after walking 10 batters in 5 2/3 innings pitched last month. He also hit three batters as his off-speed pitches, in particular, were all over the place.

"I'm hoping it was physical, maybe a little bit mechanical and he can get on track," Hoyer said. "It wasn't that long ago that the Tigers were leaning on him to get their most important outs. Obviously, he hasn't been able to do that."

Veras will start pitching at Double-A Tennessee as he recovers from an oblique injury. In the meantime the Cubs will try to develop a closer from within. It was assumed Pedro Strop would get that role but lately Hector Rondon has gotten the chances.

"It can be hard to sign a guy and bring him into a situation that he's not familiar with," Hoyer said. "Ideally, we would develop a closer from one of these guys that we have on our roster. We have some guys that have the stuff and make-up to do it and hopefully it will click with one."

Rondon has one save with a 0.68 ERA this season.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jake Arrieta
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.65 157 149
OTHER LEADERS
BAS. Castro .292
HRA. Rizzo 31
RBIA. Rizzo 72
RA. Rizzo 83
OPSA. Rizzo .895
ERAT. Wood 4.86
SOJ. Arrieta 157