Neil Ramirez to have MRI, Cubs to re-evaluate roster

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs reliever Neil Ramirez will have an MRI on his right shoulder on Thursday after leaving Wednesday's 5-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds with right shoulder "discomfort," according to manager Joe Maddon.

"It's nothing real positive I don't think," Maddon said after the game. "I don't like to go to negative town too quickly but we'll see."

Ramirez threw three pitches to Joey Votto in the ninth inning before summoning the trainer to the pitcher's mound. He left shortly after talking with him and his manager.

"He looked weird to me," catcher Miguel Montero said. "The way he was warming up, something wasn't right."

Ramirez is a key part of the Cubs bullpen which has been fantastic in the early portion of the season. He had a breakout year in 2014 after being called up from the minors, posting a 1.44 ERA in 50 games. He's appeared in four games this season before leaving on Wednesday.

"The 90 mph fastball was well below his [norm]," Maddon said.

The Cubs are carrying 13 pitchers but were likely to reduce that number to 12 with an off-day on Thursday resetting their bullpen. It's possible top prospect Kris Bryant could be called up from Triple-A Iowa but Ramirez' injury puts everything on hold.

"Having the off-day to re-evaluate what's going on is very helpful right now," Maddon said.

The Cubs could replace Ramirez -- if they need to -- with another pitcher and continue to play with 13 as their relief staff has been heavily used already. Or they could bring up Bryant or another player hoping that the day-off helps the entire group.

Ramirez could join another bullpen arm, Justin Grimm, on the disabled list. He went down recently with forearm inflammation.

The Cubs said results on Ramirez' MRI likely won't be known until Friday.