RHP Anthony Varvaro was activated on Tuesday. Varvaro, who was claimed on waivers from the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, is 7-9 with a 3.23 ERA in 166 appearances with Seattle, Atlanta and the Red Sox since 2010.
RHP Blake Parker was designated for assignment by the Cubs on Tuesday to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for LHP James Russell. Parker, 29, went a combined 2-3 with one save and a 3.68 ERA in 74 relief appearances for the Cubs from 2012-14. He had no decisions and a 2.70 ERA in three appearances for Triple-A Iowa this season.
LHP James Russell, a long-time Cub who went to Atlanta at the trading deadline last July, is back with the team after being called up Tuesday. Pitching at Iowa, Russell went 2-0 with three saves in seven appearances, fanning 12 over 9 2/3 innings and allowing only four hits. He’s appeared in 338 games over the last five seasons and should offer a proven set-up option.
RHP Kyle Hendricks couldn’t hold on to a 4-1 lead and settled for a no-decision in a game Chicago eventually lost. Hendricks gave up a game-tying three-run homer to Matt Carpenter in the bottom of the fifth, leaving after allowing six hits and four runs in five innings with two walks and one strikeout. Hendricks also hit two batters, the part which most concerns him. “Hitting and walking guys is not my game,” he said.
LHP Joe Ortiz, designated for assignment by the Cubs on Sunday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday. Ortiz, 24, is 0-1 with one save and a 3.37 ERA in eight relief appearances for Iowa this season.
RHP Gonzalez Germen was sent down to Triple-A Iowa Tuesday as the Cubs beefed up a suddenly shaky bullpen in the wake of Monday night’s late-game collapse. Germen actually pitched a scoreless eighth inning in the 10-9 loss, but was tagged for five runs over six innings in six appearances, doling out five walks.
LHP Jon Lester takes the mound Wednesday night in game three of the series. Lester faced St. Louis on Opening Night Apr. 5, leaving after 4 1/3 innings, eight hits and three runs in a 3-0 loss to Adam Wainwright. Lester is coming off his first Chicago win, throwing seven scoreless innings Friday in a 1-0 verdict over Milwaukee.
OF Chris Denorfia (left hamstring) was placed on the 15-day DL Tuesday after departing Monday night’s game for pinch-runner Junior Lake in the third inning. Denorfia aggravated an injury which has bothered him throughout the first month as he went from first to third on an Addison Russell single. In 21 at-bats, Denorfia has managed nine hits.