8/21/2014 5:30 P.M. ET
Struggling Jackson hits DL with right lat strain
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Edwin Jackson said he could no longer pitch through the discomfort, and on Thursday, the Cubs pitcher was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain.
It's been a struggle this season for the right-hander, who gave up seven runs over 2 2/3 innings on Wednesday against the Giants to fall to 6-14 with a 6.09 ERA. Jackson led the National League in losses last year, and he was on pace to do so again.
"It's been the last few starts and something I've tried to work through," Jackson said Thursday. "I figured it was in the best interest of myself, and the team as well, to try not to fight through it any more before something major happens. It's one of those things that you try to work through, and it didn't work out for me."
Jackson ended the 2013 season with a similar injury, and he was pulled from his final start against the Cardinals on Sept. 28 after 2 2/3 innings to end the year 8-18 with a 4.98 ERA. Those aren't exactly the type of numbers the Cubs envisioned when the signed him to a four-year, $52 million contract in December '12. Jackson has two years remaining on that deal.
"I don't think I've proven to the fans or the organization of Chicago what I can do, what I'm capable of doing," Jackson said. "I still think I have a lot of upside and a lot to bring to the table. I just haven't proved it.
"At the end of the day, you have to go out and do it on the field. Regardless of what anyone says about confidence ... I haven't lost any confidence. When I take the field, I feel like I'm the best pitcher on the field, and it just hasn't shown. I feel I have a lot to prove to the organization and I still have a lot to prove to the fans of Chicago, and I feel I owe them a lot being paid a lucrative contrct. I still owe a lot to the team."
Jackson said the injury will not force him to miss the rest of the season, but there is no timetable for his return. He will simply take it day to day.
"He's not a guy who complains," manager Rick Renteria said. "I think he just tried to push his way through it. That's him, that's his makeup. Obviously, it's just prudent for him not to keep pushing through it, and we'll make adjustments."
Jackson's next start was scheduled for Tuesday against the Reds, but who will start that game is still to be determined, Renteria said.
The Cubs could start Jacob Turner, who was slated to take the mound Thursday to continue the suspended game against the Giants. However, Renteria wasn't sure if Turner had been stretched out enough.
Jackson's velocity did not appear to change this season, but he says it was a struggle.
"The velocity has been there sometimes," Jackson said. "It's a battle within myself. I have to dig down and reach down to get the velocity."
Cubs place Castro on bereavement list
CHICAGO -- Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was placed on the bereavement list Thursday so he could take care of a personal matter in the Dominican Republic.
Castro was initially in the Cubs' starting lineup Wednesday, but he was scratched shortly before the game started.
"He was very upset," Manager Rick Renteria said Thursday.
One of Castro's relatives and three friends were killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.
Rookie Javier Baez will start at shortstop while Castro is away. Players on the bereavement list can miss from three games to seven games.
"My plan is just to keep [Baez] there until Starlin gets back," Renteria said. "It makes the most sense ... because that's what [Baez] has been doing his whole career. We just hope Starlin is OK."
The Cubs recalled infielder Logan Watkins from Triple-A Iowa to take Castro's spot on the roster.
Arrieta set to face former teammates in Chicago
CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta was drafted by the Orioles and came up through their system, and on Friday, he is scheduled to make his first start against them as the Cubs open an Interleague series.
"It'll be fun to face guys I played with for a long time," Arrieta said. "I know they're going to come out and compete as best as they possibly can, and I'm sure they expect the same from me."
Arrieta guessed that the last time he faced the O's hitters was in Spring Training scrimmages.
"I don't know if there's an edge or not," Arrieta said. "I know if I execute pitches, I like my chances. If I make a lot of mistakes, their success will go up. I think it's going to be a good one."
• Felix Doubront will make his third Minor League rehab start on Sunday with Double-A Tennessee, and he is expected to start one of the Cubs' games on Aug. 30 when they play a day-night doubleheader against the Cardinals.
Doubront, sidelined with a left calf strain, has given up six runs on 12 hits over 10 innings in two Minor League games with Triple-A Iowa.
• Left-hander Zac Rosscup was recalled from Iowa to take Jackson's spot on the Cubs' 25-man roster. Rosscup is making his fifth stint with the big league team. In seven games, he's given up five earned runs over six innings. With Iowa, the lefty was 2-0 with four saves and a 2.10 ERA.
• Infielder Josh Vitters, the Cubs' first-round Draft pick in 2007, was placed on Triple-A Iowa's disabled list Thursday. Vitters suffered a broken ring finger on his right hand while reaching for second base on an awkward slide Wednesday. He was batting .213 with 14 doubles, 11 home runs and 38 RBIs in 112 games with Iowa.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.