11:09AM: Williams has been officially placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to May 28. Right-hander Kohl Stewart was called up from Triple-A and will start today for the Cubs.
8:19AM: Cubs hurler Trevor Williams will be out indefinitely after undergoing an emergency appendectomy, per Jared Wyllus of the Chicago Sun-Times. Williams was originally slated to start today’s game against the Padres.
It’s looking like Keegan Thompson will step in for a spot start. The 26-year-old made his first career start in the second game of a doubleheader against the vaunted Dodgers back on May the 4th, tossing 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Thompson has yet to surrender an earned run in his young career with 15 scoreless innings over his first nine appearances. He’s done a tremendous job of keeping the ball on the ground so far with a 58.3 percent groundball rate, though that’s not a tendency he displayed as a minor leaguer.
As for Williams, the situation might seem more dire than it is, given the “indefinite” designation of his injury status. Likely, this is simply a matter of wait-and-see, assuming there were no further complications to the surgery.
They will need to replace his production in the meantime. Williams hasn’t exactly been a revelation since joining the rotation from the Pirates – 5.36 ERA/4.76 FIP while averaging less than five innings per start – but if nothing else, he’s striking out batters at a career-best rate of 24.9 percent. He’s also walking more batters than usual with a 10.2 percent walk rate. To his credit, Williams has allowed two or less earned runs in seven of his ten starts, and he’s coming off his best outing of the year, a six-inning, one-earned-run effort against his former club in Pittsburgh.