Fox's injury could mean end of career
Reliever placed on 15-day DL with right elbow pain
MILWAUKEE -- This time, Chad Fox said it felt like someone took a hammer to the elbow. It wasn't anywhere near the first unpleasant sensation the veteran reliever has experienced in his right arm, and it might be the last on a Major League mound.
As expected, Fox, selected just four days ago from Triple-A Iowa to assist the Cubs in the bullpen, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with right elbow inflammation, one night after leaving a game in pain following a wild pitch.
"It's a roller-coaster," said Fox, who has not enjoyed a healthy season since pitching for the 2003 World Series-winning Florida Marlins. "I kind of have a feeling what's going on. ... It could have happened -- I knew that. Anytime you come back and you've got three screws in your elbow with everything I've been through -- but I've always told Jim [Hendry, Cubs GM] and this organization if I was healthy, I'm going to give it all I've got."
Fox pitched for the Cubs in 2008 after a two-year hiatus, making three relief outings before ulnar neuritis landed him back on the DL in May through the end of the season. He made two relief appearances this year, allowing five runs and recording only one out.
Fox said he'll have X-rays on Monday, solicit opinions from specialists and evaluate his status thereafter.
"My elbow is such a clouded mess, anyway; it may be one of those deals where they give you the option and open it up to see what's going on or just leave it like it is and let it heal on its own," Fox said. "I try not to read too much into it.
"You get to this point -- for me, I don't want to start messing with quality of life. I don't want to start messing just to keep chasing. I said I feel very confident in everything I've done, and I'll hit this head on."
Fox said he was at peace with his comeback effort, and would have been even if the club had released him in Spring Training.
"I feel almost sorry in a way for this organization, because they've given me so much," Fox said. "As a player, you want to go out there and compete and come back. It's hard to swallow."
To take Fox's place, the club recalled Jose Ascanio from Iowa. The 24-year-old has been enjoying a strong season in the I-Cubs rotation, with a 1.01 ERA in six games and 26 2/3 innings. He boasts a 1-1 record and 26 strikeouts to seven walks, with a 0.94 WHIP.
JR Radcliffe is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.