09/04/12 7:34 PM ET
Cubs add four to roster, including catcher Recker
By Mike Fiammetta / MLB.com
Left-hander Chris Rusin, who made his second career start in Washington on Tuesday against the Nationals, was added in addition to catcher Anthony Recker, right-hander Jaye Chapman and right-hander Rafael Dolis. All four players were with Triple-A Iowa before moving to Tennessee once Hurricane Isaac prematurely ended Iowa's season.
Rusin's first start came in Milwaukee on Aug. 21, a five-inning outing in which the 25-year-old rookie allowed one run on one hit but was still tagged with the loss as the Cubs fell to the Brewers, 5-2.
Recker, 29, was traded from the A's on Aug. 27 for catcher Blake Lalli. He was on Oakland's Opening Day roster but was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on May 27, where he was hitting .265 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs before being designated for assignment on Aug. 20.
Dolis served as the Cubs' closer for a brief stint earlier this season. In 27 games, Dolis, 24, went 2-4 with four saves and a 6.44 ERA in 29 1/3 innings pitched.
While manager Dale Sveum said Recker will likely play only in emergency pinch-hit or pinch-run situations, Dolis will be available out of the bullpen.
"Right now, he's another body in the bullpen that we're going to need down the stretch for innings," Sveum said. "There's no role; he's going to be down the pecking order, so to speak, when we're losing ballgames or just need innings. I do want to get another look at him somehow, to see if things have gotten better than when he left it."
Chapman, a 25-year-old rookie, joins the first Major League roster of his career. The Cubs acquired him in the Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson trade with Atlanta on July 30, which also netted them right-hander Arodys Vizcaino.
Cubs will talk about plan for Samardzija for rest of '12
WASHINGTON -- One day after Jeff Samardzija tossed another strong seven-inning outing, Cubs manager Dale Sveum addressed the right-hander's prospects for finishing out the season on Monday.
Against the Nationals, who boast one of the hottest-hitting lineups in baseball, Samardzija allowed only one run on seven hits while striking out eight and walking one. The start boosted his innings total to 165 2/3, approaching the 180 mark that was initially said to be a limit of sorts for Samardzija's first full season as a starter.
"Well, we have to sit down with the whole organization and evaluate that decision and see where we want to be," Sveum said. "That would obviously be a lot more innings than he's ever pitched [in the big leagues]. But the strength level is obviously there right now, so it's something that we really got to evaluate."
Of course, Samardzija made his latest strong start -- he finished August with a 3.52 ERA over six outings -- in the shadow of Stephen Strasburg's own shutdown, which the Nats announced on Sunday will come after his start on Sept. 12.
After Tuesday's start, Samardzija said he's feeling stronger as the season extends into the final month for the Cubs.
"You put your work in in the offseason to be in this situation," Samardzija said. "You work so hard to get a lot of innings under your belt and pitch late in the season and be healthy.
"I know I'm a second-half player."
The Cubs are currently in the midst of a 10-day, 10-game road trip and won't return to Chicago until Sept. 13. Then, Sveum said, he might evaluate Samardzija's outlook for the rest of the season with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer.
As for the Nationals' situation with Strasburg, Sveum recognized the difficulty of making such a tough decision.
"They're making one of the tougher decisions in baseball, to shut down probably the best pitcher in baseball when they have the chance of competing for the World Series," Sveum said. "One of the priorities when you're out of it for such a long period of time, you know that there's some people that are very important to this organization going forward, and you're not going to put anybody in harm's way, either. It doesn't make any sense [to do that]."
After dropping Monday's series opener with the Nationals, the Cubs had lost 17 of their 20 road games since the All-Star break, including 13 of their last 14 since the beginning of August.
Mike Fiammetta is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.