Carrie Muskat is reporting that all the rumors of the Cubs bringing back frequent whipping boy, Bobby Howry, to help assure that the Cubs have the worst bullpen in all of baseball have been confirmed.

Bob Howry is back with the Cubs. The veteran reliever has reportedly signed a one-year contract with the team and was expected to join the Cubs Friday when they open a three-game Interleague series against the Texas Rangers. An official announcement was expected later Friday.

Howry, 36, was designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday after posting a 10.67 ERA in 14 games. In 14 1/3 innings, he gave up 17 runs on 18 hits and six walks, and served up six home runs.

This would be Howry’s second stint with the Cubs. He was part of the bullpen in 2006-08, and posted a 17-17 record and 3.90 ERA in 234 games. He struggled in ’08 with a 5.35 ERA.

The Cubs have been looking for right-handed help in the bullpen since the offseason and moved Opening Day starter Carlos Zambrano to a set-up role April 22 in an effort to bridge the gap to closer Carlos Marmol. That didn’t work, and Zambrano will return to the rotation once he builds up arm strength.

To make room on the 25-man roster for Bob Howry, rookie Justin Berg was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. To open a spot on the 40-man, right-handed reliever David Patton was designated for assignment.

What bugs me about this move is the fact that we signed Howry to a ML deal. Sign him to a minor league contract, considering he’s already collecting from the Diamondbacks who had to pay his full salary remaining in one lump sum when they released him. Send him to Iowa and see what happens.

Justin Berg wasn’t getting any time in the pen lately and I actually had to check the active roster list the other day to make sure he was still on the team and that I hadn’t missed a transaction. I’m fine with him going back down so he can actually pitch and work on his stuff with live hitters.

As far as David Patton goes, all that frustrates me is the fact that we actually kept his butt on the active roster for as long as we did last year and for what?

Maybe I’m wrong on Howry. Maybe he’ll return to glory, but considering the fact that he was basically going to retire, I’m not holding my breath.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail