The Cubs announced they’ve reinstated reliever Manuel Rodríguez from the 60-day injured list. He’ll be on the roster for tonight’s game against the Brewers. Chicago optioned righty Kervin Castro to Triple-A Iowa to open an active roster spot, while starter Alec Mills was moved from the 15-day to the 60-day injured list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Rodríguez, who recently turned 26, is in line for his first MLB action of the season. He made his big league debut last year, appearing in 20 games and throwing 17 2/3 innings. The righty scuffled to a 6.11 ERA during that brief look, walking an untenable 14.5% of opponents. He averaged more than 97 MPH on his fastball and induced ground-balls at a whopping 53.7% clip, though, showcasing some potential to emerge as a possible middle innings arm for skipper David Ross.
This season hasn’t gone according to plan, as Rodríguez made just five appearances in Iowa. He lost a good chunk of time with a strain in his throwing elbow, but he’s back and will look to stake his claim to a spot in the season-opening bullpen for next year. This is Rodríguez’s final minor league option year, meaning the Cubs will have to keep him on the active roster at the start of 2023 or make him available to other teams via trade or waivers.
Mills has been out since July 3 with a lower back strain. The righty’s IL transfer backdates to that point, so he’ll be eligible to return around a week from now. He’s unlikely to be ready by that point, as he’s yet to start a minor league rehab assignment.