After committing a throwing error while playing for the Cubs' Triple A team in Iowa in May, righthanded reliever Will Cunnane punched a towel dispenser in the clubhouse and broke his pitching hand. Even though the Cubs released him two weeks later, Cunnane says his outburst was a fortunate event. The 29-year-old righthander was signed to a minor league contract by the Braves in July and has been a lights-out interim closer since being called up to Atlanta on Aug. 7, with John Smoltz on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right elbow.
At week's end Cunnane was 3 for 3 in save opportunities and had surrendered just two runs in 15 innings, while opposing hitters were batting .148 against him. When Smoltz returns, perhaps as early as next week, Cunnane will move into a setup role in a bullpen that has been a team weakness (4.10 ERA) all season. Any role suits Cunnane, who believes that if he hadn't KO'd the towel dispenser, "I'd probably be at home, watching games on TV."