Cubs manager David Ross will be tested by 13-pitcher limit

After two extensions, Major League Baseball’s edict for teams to trim their staffs to 13 pitchers will take effect Monday. And it will put Cubs manager David Ross’ patience to the test.

Because of blowout deficits, Ross has been forced to use a position player to pitch four times and would prefer that it never happens again.

”I’ve seen all I want to see from my end,” Ross said. ”But I could have made that comment earlier, and I refrain from it.”

Nevertheless, Ross will try to protect the health of the pitchers, which means he might be forced to continue using position players to pitch in blowouts.

With 13-man staffs, Ross envisions teams will deploy more multi-inning relievers, especially those who are effective against hitters on both sides of the plate.

Because of the late start of a 3.5-week spring training, teams were allowed to carry as many as 14 pitchers through May 2. They then were issued extensions through May 30 and Sunday. Ross appreciated the leniency.

”They’re doing that, in theory, to keep the starters in the game,” Ross said.

The reduction in relievers might mean that Ross could use Scott Effross for longer stints but not as frequently. Effross leads the majors with 31 appearances and has pitched more than one inning six times, He has a 3.10 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Adrian Sampson stated his case by pitching 4 2/3 innings of one-hit ball Sunday against the Braves.

Suzuki’s slate

Right fielder Seiya Suzuki will continue his rehabilitation for a sprained left ring finger at the Cubs’ complex in Mesa, Arizona, while the team embarks on a seven-game trip.

There is no indication when Suzuki will return, and Ross intimated he will need a rehab assignment before rejoining the Cubs.

Suzuki hasn’t played since injuring the finger on a slide May 26 at Cincinnati. Ross said the swelling has subsided, but he indicated Suzuki will receive as much baseball work as needed before returning.

”We want to get him as many looks and let him feel comfortable for when he comes back, for sure,” Ross said.

Frazier’s future

Ross was tickled that outfielder Clint Frazier accepted an assignment to Triple-A Iowa after being designated for assignment 10 days ago and clearing waivers.

”I’m so happy for us,” Ross said. ”I think Clint is a real big-leaguer. He’s got a chance to get some regular at-bats down there, get himself locked in and be able to come back. I think that is a real positive for us, and I hope he sees it the same way.”

Reliever Ethan Roberts left after throwing four pitches in his first game on a rehab assignment for Iowa. Roberts hasn’t pitched since April 29 because of inflammation in his right shoulder.

Catcher Miguel Amaya, who underwent Tommy John surgery in November, is scheduled to start playing next Monday in Arizona with the hope he can report to Iowa in a few weeks.

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