The Cubs have activated left-hander Wade Miley from the 60-day injured list, per reporter Mark Gonzales. Right-hander Luke Farrell was designated for assignment in a corresponding move. Additionally, Gonzales relays that catcher Willson Contreras has been placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to September 3. He’s been dealing with an ankle injury of late. Outfielder Michael Hermosillo has been reinstated from the 60-day injured list to take his place on the active roster, with right-hander Nicholas Padilla getting designated for assignment to open up a 40-man spot.
Farrell, 31, is in his sixth MLB season, having pitched for the Royals, Reds, Rangers and Twins, in addition to the Cubbies. However, he’s logged just 98 2/3 innings over those six campaigns, with a 4.83 ERA, 23.3% strikeout rate, 11.4% walk rate and 31.8% ground ball rate. He signed a minor league deal with the Cubs this year, getting selected in August. He’s thrown 11 MLB innings on the season with a 4.09 ERA. In 59 Triple-A innings, he has a 5.03 ERA for the year.
Miley, 35, will be looking for a strong finish to a frustrating season. Due to both elbow and shoulder issues, Miley has spent much of the season on the injured list and has made only four starts this year. That’s come on the heels of a tremendous 2021 season with the Reds that saw him throw 163 innings with a 3.37 ERA. The Reds could have kept him around via a $10MM club option but instead put him on waivers and saw the Cubs snatch him up. Chicago was surely hoping for Miley to act as a veteran stabilizer in a rotation experiencing much turnover as part of the club’s rebuild. Instead, he’s been absent for much of the year while trying to get healthy. He recently spoke to Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun-Times about his intention to continue pitching. The Cubs are well out of postseason contention, but Miley will have the remaining four weeks of the regular season to showcase his arm before the offseason begins.
Contreras, 30, hasn’t played in a week due to this lingering ankle issue. The Cubs didn’t place him on the IL until now, likely hoping that a few days’ rest would help it go away. However, that doesn’t seem to have happened, based on today’s move. Because it was backdated, Contreras could potentially return in a week if he heals up. Like Miley, Contreras is an impending free agent, which made him a clear trade candidate prior to the deadline. However, he ended up sticking with Chicago in one of the more shocking developments of early August. This ankle injury will be a snag on what has been the best season of his career. Contreras has hit 21 home runs and is slashing .246/.351/.471. The resulting 132 wRC+ and 3.1 fWAR are both career highs. Like Miley, he’ll be looking to get back on the field before the offseason kicks into gear. With Contreras out of action, Yan Gomes will likely get the bulk of the playing time behind the plate, with P.J. Higgins on hand as a backup.
Padilla, 25, was selected to the big league roster for the first time just two weeks ago. He made just a single MLB appearance, having spent most of his time this year in the minors. He’s thrown 47 innings on the farm this year across three different levels, registering a 2.11 ERA with a strong 30.5% strikeout rate but a high 13.7% walk rate. Given his youth, years of control and full slate of options, he could hold appeal for a team looking for some bullpen depth. He and Farrell will each be placed on waivers in the coming days, since the trade deadline has already passed.