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Levine: Cubs' 6-Man Starting Rotation Likely To Include Lefty Brian Matusz

By Bruce Levine--

CHICAGO (CBS) -- With an eye on resting their rotation in the last two months of the regular season, the Chicago Cubs will go with a six-man rotation for at least one turn through. The team is likely to name Triple-A left-hander Brian Matusz its starter against Seattle on Sunday evening.

Concerned with wear and tear on veteran pitchers who have had to pitch extended innings in the postseason last year, the Cubs feel this complements the needs of the five men in the rotation, at least for now.

Right before the All-Star break, right-hander Adam Warren was stretched out and used as a sixth starter. Since that time, Warren has been traded to the Yankees as part of the Aroldis Chapman deal last week.

The 29-year-old Matusz was signed by the Cubs as a free agent in June. He threw in two games with Iowa and was 0-0 with a 1.93 ERA. Matusz started the season with Baltimore, then was traded to Atlanta in May and released right away. Matusz is 27-41 with a 4.85 ERA in parts of eight big league seasons.

Matusz pitched mostly out of the Orioles bullpen the last three seasons. His best year as a starter was 2010, when he was 10-12 with a 4.30 ERA in 32 starts.

"Try to interject that extra guy, that will give (the rotation) even more rest," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "This is also about the schedule. Built-in off days are coming up. We still want to take advantage of this, knowing it is going to get really hectic, the later part of August and early September. If the opportunity is there, take advantage of it."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

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