MESA, Ariz. - You can never have too much pitching.
Theo Epstein uses that phrase often, as he talks about the attrition of pitching between injuries and ineffectiveness.
That helps explain why the Cubs are rolling the dice on right-handed pitcher Aaron Crow, who is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
The 29-year-old Crow was non-tendered by the Miami Marlins this offseason after he missed all of 2015 with the elbow injury. The Cubs announced Friday they signed him to a minor-league deal.
Right now, Crow is working back into shape, throwing a simulated bullpen during the Cubs' first official workout with pitchers and catchers Saturday.
He's hoping for a possible June return.
"I'm really excited to be here, especially after the year they had last year," Crow said. "It's a really good club. Hopefully by midseason, I can get healthy and be helping the team somehow."
Crow had a down season in 2014 that saw a dip in velocity and strikeouts but from 2011-13, he was a staple in the Kansas City Royals bullpen. Over that time, he went 14-10 with a 3.19 ERA and 1.33 WHIP while striking out 174 batters in 174.2 innings.
Crow also has 57 career holds.
This is unchartered territory for Crow, who averaged more than 63 appearances a season in Kansas City.
"You gotta learn pretty quick that you gotta be patient because it's so long," Crow said. "The hard part's behind me now, so now I just gotta get back in throwing shape.
"I have a few more months of throwing light sides to get ready. The whole process is long, so you just kinda look at it like that and take it day by day.
"I can't get guys out right now if I don't get healthy. You have to do that first. Once I get healthy, then I can start worrying about how I'm pitching or where it's at."
Crow said he's looking forward to working with Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio and manager Joe Maddon.
Who knows if Crow will ever throw a pitch at Wrigley Field. But the Cubs used 20 different relievers in 2015, a year where they had remarkably good luck on the injury front.
If all goes well, the Cubs are hoping Crow can provide some midseason reinforcement to the bullpen.