The Cubs remain in good position in the NL Central, in no small part due to the recent heroics of recently acquired pitcher Cole Hamels. The veteran just wrapped up a complete-game performance tonight and has allowed less than one earned run per nine innings in his first five starts in a Cubs uniform. Of course, he would likely not have ended up in Chicago were it not for the difficulties experienced by a few of the team’s recently signed, high-priced starters.
- Yu Darvish, Hamels’s former rotation mate in Texas, has already been declared out for the rest of the 2018 season. He addressed that fact with reporters today, with MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat among those on hand. The veteran righty says he felt all along “there was something else other than the tightness” he was experiencing in his pitching arm, so much so that the diagnosis of a stress reaction came as something of a relief. Darvish indicated that he’s not even thinking about the season to come so much as he is trying to care for his ailing arm. Still, he expressed confidence that he’ll bounce back and be “stronger going forward.” That’ll obviously be the hope of the Cubs organization, which still has $101MM invested in Darvish after the present season.
- The club also announced today that righty Tyler Chatwood is headed to the DL with hip soreness, as Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune covers. He’ll be replaced on the roster by Dillon Maples, for the time being, with Alec Mills set to come up to start tomorrow. Chatwood has been plagued by walks all year long, racking up 93 to go with his 85 strikeouts over 101 2/3 innings. That’s simply not a manageable rate of free passes, as his 5.22 ERA reflects. Details of the new malady remain scant, but it certainly seems there are good reasons for the club to find cause to give Chatwood a breather regardless.
- Another major recent open-market signee, Brandon Morrow, has performed as hoped when he has been available. But the closer has been sidelined for over a month with a balky elbow and still lacks a clear timeline. He went in for a checkup today, says Muskat. That examination evidently did not reveal anything of particular note, though it was not arranged due to any fear of a setback. It seems the hope remains that Morrow will return at some point in the final month of the regular season.
- In other Chicago reliever news, Brian Duensing — yet another hurler who signed with the Cubs in free agency last winter — is headed for a rehab assignment. The 35-year-old southpaw, who carries an ugly 7.34 ERA on the year, has been on the shelf for the past several weeks with a shoulder ailment.