Slow recovery ahead for Cubs' Clevenger

PHILADELPHIA – Oblique strains are never a short-term proposition and for Cubs backup catcher Steve Clevenger, he could end up missing a significant amount of time.

Clevenger was put on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a right oblique strain that he suffered during his last swing of batting practice Friday night. Welington Castillo was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to take his place on the roster.

The fact that Clevenger has discomfort not only coughing but talking as well shows the severity of the injury.

“I’ve heard a lot of bad things about the oblique area,” Clevenger said. “I will do what I have to do and listen to [medical staff]. That’s what they’re here to do is to get me back on the field.”

Not only can oblique strains be slow to heal, there are issues that come up late in the recovery period when it seems to feel at full strength but hasn’t completely healed. The recovery plan must err on the side of caution and take more days even when all seems fine.

“It’s usually a long process,” manager Dale Sveum said. “That’s the unfortunate part about it. He got it really good.”

Clevenger not only hit well in his limited time as a backup with a .500 (11-for-22) batting average and five doubles, he was solid behind the plate as well. Cubs pitchers had an ERA of under 1.88 when he was catching.

“Yeah I definitely believe I belong up here,” Clevenger said. “I’m kind of disappointed but at the same time I’ll be back and be ready to go when I’m back.”