Hendry's Howry Heckler

By Chris Rewers on Friday, May 21, 2010

Truth sometimes can be stranger than fiction.

When I heard the rumor that the Cubs were close to signing 36-year-old free-agent reliever Bob Howry, I hoped that maybe it had originated at The Heckler.

Unfortunately, it was confirmed Friday that Howry had been added to the Cubs active roster by Jim Hendry after signing a one-year contract.

Howry appeared in 234 games and had 14 saves during his last stint with the Cubs (2006-08). He signed a free-agent deal with San Francisco and went 2-6 with a 3.90 ERA with the Giants last season. He signed with Arizona last offseason, but was released by the Diamondbacks on May 17 after a disastrous tenure that included a 10.67 ERA in 14 1/3 innings. He was torched for 17 runs on 18 hits while walking six and serving up six home runs. Basically, he was a right-handed version of John Grabow.

The Cubs optioned right-hander Justin Berg to Triple-A Iowa and designated minor league right-hander David Patton for assignment to make room for Howry on the 40-man roster.

Berg has an unimpressive 6.43 ERA in 14 innings of work this season, but it is better than Carlos Zambrano (6.75), Grabow (8.44) and more than four runs better than Howry.

Howry will fit right in with this bunch.

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