Cubs Welcome Back Howry

Bob Howry (AP)

ARLINGTON, TX – The Cubs today signed right-handed pitcher Bob Howry to a 2010 major league contract and added him to the active roster. This marks Howry's second stint with the club, as he also pitched for the Cubs from 2006-08.

In corresponding roster moves, right-handed pitcher Justin Berg was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. To make room for Howry on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher David Patton was designated for assignment.

Howry will wear uniform number 62 and is available for Friday's game at Texas.

The 36-year-old Howry is 45-49 with 66 saves and a 3.79 ERA (323 ER/767.0 IP) in 745 games during all or part of 13 major league seasons exclusively in relief with the White Sox (1998-2002), Boston (2002-03), Cleveland (2004-05), the Cubs , San Francisco (2009) and Arizona (2010). He has struck out 645 and walked 246 in 767.0 innings of work, good for 7.6 strikeouts compared to 2.9 walks per 9.0 innings pitched. In addition, he has stranded 228 of 318 inherited runners (71.7 percent), including 114 of 151 since 2005 (75.5 percent).

During the last three seasons (since 2007), Howry is 14-11 with eight saves and a 3.59 ERA (62 ER/155.1 IP) from May 21-end of the year. Howry's 3.28 career ERA (137 ER/376.0 IP) following the All-Star break is a full run lower than his 4.28 ERA (186 ER/391.0 IP) prior to the break. In addition, Howry has recorded an ERA of 1.88 or better in four of his last five Septembers dating to 2005, including a 1.69 ERA (2 ER/10.2 IP) last season.

After posting a 3.39 ERA (24 ER/63.2 IP) in 63 games for San Francisco in 2009, Howry joined the Diamondbacks this season and went 1-0 with a 10.67 ERA (17 ER/14.1 IP) in 14 outings before he was granted his unconditional release May 17.

Since his major league debut in 1998, Howry ranks fourth among relievers with 767.0 innings pitched, is tied for fourth with 45 victories and is fifth with 745 appearances. Since 2005, he leads the majors with 390 relief appearances and ranks fourth with 379.2 innings pitched and is tied for fourth with 98 holds.

In 234 relief appearances during three seasons with the Cubs, Howry went 17-17 with a 3.90 ERA (99 ER/228.2 IP) and 14 saves. His 58 holds are fourth-most in franchise history while his career-high 84 appearances in 2006 are tied for first on the Cubs single-season list. Howry was a member of the Cubs 2007 and 2008 National League Central Division Championship squads.

Berg, 25, broke camp with the big league club for the first time in his career and posted a 6.43 ERA (10 ER/14.0 IP) with no record in 14 games for the Cubs this season.

Patton, 26, was acquired by Chicago December 11, 2008 from Cincinnati after he was selected by the Reds from Colorado in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft earlier that day.

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