Alec Mills threw only seven pitches in today’s start against the Red Sox before being forced out of the game due to lower-back pain. More will be known once Mills undergoes testing, but it would seemingly appear as though the right-hander’s bad back could again be forcing him to the injured list.
Mills missed a little over three weeks of the 2021 season with a lower back strain, and a similar injury also put him on the IL to begin the 2022 campaign. Unfortunately for Mills, he then suffered a quad injury while rehabbing earlier this season, which delayed this season debut until June 7. This missed time has clearly had an adverse effect on Mills’ pitching, as he has struggled to a 9.68 ERA over 17 2/3 innings since coming off the IL. Today’s abbreviated outing was only the second time in seven appearances that Mills hadn’t allowed multiple earned runs.
It was also only Mills’ second start in those seven games, as Chicago had primarily been using him as a reliever until injuries forced Mills back into rotation duty. Should Mills be headed to the IL again, the Cubs will be in need of a starter in the short term, though help could be on the way soon.
Marcus Stroman is set to make a rehab start on Sunday for Triple-A Iowa, as the righty looks to be on the verge of returning from a stint on the 15-day IL. Shoulder inflammation sidelined Stroman back on June 10, and he also missed around two weeks earlier this season due to a placement on the COVID-related IL.
The stop-and-start nature of his season has contributed to Stroman’s disappointing 5.32 ERA. While his 3.71 SIERA is more palatable, Stroman’s strikeout rate is barely above the league average and he has some of the worst hard-contact numbers of any pitcher in baseball. It could be that this IL visit serves as a reset on his season, as Stroman told MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian that he feels he more “proper build-up” after two bullpen sessions and a live BP session. The right-hander hopes that he’ll only need the one rehab start before returning to the Cubs, which would line Stroman up for a start in Chicago’s upcoming series against the Dodgers.
Drew Smyly is also set to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Monday, following a similar ramp-up pattern of two bullpens and a live BP session. Smyly has missed a little over a month due to an oblique strain. The veteran lefty’s first season in Wrigleyville has seen him post a 3.80 ERA/4.09 SIERA over 42 2/3 innings, with a strong 5.6% walk rate, but also a career-low 18.9% strikeout rate. That latter figure could give rival teams some pause in considering Smyly as a deadline pickup, though if he is able to return quickly and pitch well in July, Smyly figures to get some attention by August 2.
On the position-player side, manager David Ross told Bastian and other reporters that Seiya Suzuki should be activated from the IL as early as Monday. Suzuki has a third minor league rehab game scheduled for today, which could be the final step in his recovery from a sprained left ring finger. The outfielder has now missed over five weeks of action, interrupting his first MLB season. Suzuki had gotten off to a red-hot start in the first few weeks of play, but came down to earth in the 23 games prior to his injury — Suzuki has hit only .183/.253/.293 in his last 91 plate appearances.
It’s not a coincidence than that cancer, Stroman, is no longer a Met and the Mets are in first place.
That’s an ignorant statement.
Pot meet kettle
Why was he a cancer?
He’s not a bad guy but he manages to make himself a distraction constantly
Whether Stroman “makes himself” a distraction or rather that others overly react to a proud person of color is a subject of debate. I think it is at least as much the latter as the former. Stroman seems like an ok guy to me and his National League teammates have liked him.
More importantly, Stroman was great last year and has sucked this year. I hope that he can turn it around because the Cubs needs some pitching out of Stroman and Miley, whether they keep both or trade one.
It’s not a matter of debate. He’s not the only “person of color” with an opinion. Anything can be made racial if you just choose to do so without evidence. Again, he’s not a bad guy but he tends to use social media in a way that causes distraction. If anything, it’s an age thing, with younger folk being more understanding about idiocy on social media.
First place for now. Atlanta is well run (and not destitute). My money is on them to take NL East/possibly that first round bye. Both will be in playoffs.
They might take the East but the first round bye might be harder to get
At the beginning of the season, we all know that Scherzer and deGrom were health risks. If both can be healthy for the playoffs the Mets may be a force to be reckoned with. If deGrom pitches two games and goes back on the IR, then my money is that the Atlanta ball club takes the division.
Not for long, the LolMets are in freefall mode and the red hot, world champion Braves are hot on their trail!
The Braves have never been “world champion” of anything other than “Murica, F@%* Yeah!”
Oh man, now I actually like pinstripes17 more than you. Congratulations.
What a clown. This guy obviously has no knowledge about anything baseball.
@Extreme I would take Stroman on the Orioles for the right price
Cubs would trade Marcus Stroman for 3B prospect Coby Mayo.
But I think Orioles will want to “Hold the Mayo”.
It is actually
I’m not sure about a cancer but CLEARLY self-absorbed and overrated.
Libs love him though!
We found John Rocker’s account
Good job David Robertson! Keep him lookin good through the end of this month please. He’s auditioning for the closers job/setup man for a contender. Looking real trade-ish right now!!
Dodgers need a closer that isn’t going to give us heart attacks
Stroman has a long history of putting himself and his agenda at the front of the line. He got paid and now can focus on more important things than winning baseball games.
First we should all leave politics out of sports and sports forums.
I never want to see a guy get injured but I had to admit I was happy to see Mills out of the game yesterday. Despite his no hitter and David Botes grand slam, I would prefer to never see either in a Cubs uniform again.
Also, I’m not sure if the Cubs are simply trying to keep Contreras healthy or if there is more to it but it certainly seems as if Gomes is taking a lot more reps behind the dish… It seems that Yan is now Thompson and Hendricks personal catcher with another start thrown in between them…. And I cannot say I’m upset about it. Hendricks and Thompson both seem to throw significantly better to Gomes than Wilco.
I hate to see Mills injured again. It may have contributed to how bad he’s looked this year. And man, has he been bad…
I agree with ya on Bote but I’m afraid they’re stuck with him and that contract.
My question about Contreras is, if Hoyer is trying to rebuild this team, why would he let him go? Strong catching is so hard to find and they don’t have anyone on the farm even close to stepping in. Higgins ain’t the guy. I honestly don’t have any idea what a great return would look like in a trade for him, but it looks like we’re gonna find out.
Because Contreras isn’t great at developing pitchers and that is what the Cubs need right now.
The plan all along was to let Gomes bridge and develop the young pitching staff. That’s why he is signed to a two year deal with a third year option.
Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows what the plan was? Gomes was a luxury signing that enabled them to use Contreras more as a DH and reduce his workload. It was also insurance to cover them if they trade him (which looks like they will), and to reduce the chance of him being injured this month. And whatever Gomes may bring to the table with regard to young pitchers, I think has to be balanced with how far superior Contreras is with his bat and that arm cannon. I think if they were winning, they’d keep him. I will hate to see him go.
Because they have a lot of holes to fill. Yes trading Willson creates a hole at catcher, but he’s one of the few guys they could trade and receive multiple guys capable of starting on the next good Cubs team.
Miguel Amaya is definitely ready for the Show if he can bounce back from TJ surgery last year. He’s just begun a ML rehab assignment & has been seasoned for years. My guess is next year you’ve got a Gomes/Amaya duo.
Cubs are concerned about Willy’s D. His framing and overall defense at C has slipped big time over the last couple seasons. That’s why Gomes is in there & his pitcher ERA is half of Contreras. This is also why I think Cubs unload Willy…the more he DH’s, the less value he will command.
Alec Mills to the DL? I hope that’s a mistake and they meant DFA. I’ve seen more than enough. I think he’s lived long enough off the worlds least talented no-hitter in history.
Unfortunately I don’t see the Cubs DFA Mills this season due to the fact they are still hoping to trade smyly and Miley and will need the “depth” if you can even call him that.
I would rather see the Cubs give guys like Leiter, swarmer and Sampson shots in the rotation and long relief
I’m not a huge Mills fan either but that was not the world’s least talented no hitter. I think that belongs to Edwin when he walked 8 and I think hit a batter but gave up hits and Burnett walking 9. Think he hit a batter too. Mills’ no hitter was certainly the most unexpected one, especially against the Brewers.
Cubs are an absolute mess, I don’t think Jed Hoyer has any idea what he’s doing
Until the Cubs culture is changed, 1 in a century World Series will always be the way. Epstein tried but the fans love for underachieving, popular players has always been a thing over the consistent development of a farm system. The Ricketts are not sports people and have no competitive DNA just a love for $ and Daddy’s approval.