Banged-up Chicago Cubs lose left-hander Jordan Wicks to the 15-day injured list with a forearm strain

BOSTON — Chicago Cubs left-hander Jordan Wicks knows he must be smart early in the season.

It doesn’t make the current situation any less frustrating for Wicks, who was put on the 15-day injured list Sunday with a left forearm strain. Wicks becomes the third Cubs starting pitcher currently on the IL. The Cubs made three other moves before their series finale against the Boston Red Sox, recalling reliever Daniel Palencia and optioning lefty reliever Luke Little to Triple-A Iowa. Left-hander Richard Lovelady was added to the 40-man roster and brought up from Iowa.

Wicks experienced a little soreness while warming up before his start Tuesday, but once he got hot and the game was underway it went away. However, his forearm didn’t bounce back well following his start and Wicks again felt soreness and tightness when throwing twice in four days since his outing. The tightness is located in the flexor tendon area of his left forearm, and Wicks described it as more lingering than when the issue has similarly cropped up a few times in the past. In those instances, he would take a couple of days off from throwing and the soreness went away. But time off didn’t help his forearm calm down this time.

“I didn’t think anything of it, like, I just thought it was just some random soreness, whatever,” Wicks said Sunday of the initial soreness. “We just wanted to be precautionary this early in the season. There’s no reason to push it or put anything unnecessarily at risk. Obviously extremely frustrated that we had to do that, but it’s the best course of action going forward with the bigger picture in mind.

“We just don’t want to mess with it this early and we don’t want to like have to deal with it for months as we go.”

Wicks might get imaging done this week in New York for peace of mind, though he reiterated he is not overly concerned about the seriousness of the injury.

Manager Craig Counsell said the Cubs need to see how Wicks’ forearm responds in the next week to determine the next steps.

“The hope is that maybe we caught this soon enough that it’s just a short stay,” on the IL, Counsell said.