The Cubs have placed right-hander Marcus Stroman on the 15-day injured list with right hip inflammation, retroactive to August 1, with Meghan Montemurro of The Chicago Tribune among those to relay the info. His roster spot will go to right-hander José Cuas, who was acquired from the Royals yesterday.
Stroman, 32, got off to a great start this year, as he carried a 2.28 earned run average after his start on June 20. With him succeeding and the club floundering, he became a popular trade candidate leading up to the deadline but their fortunes have flipped in recent weeks. Stroman has allowed 30 earned runs in 30 innings over his last seven starts as the Cubs have surged back into contention, eventually deciding to buy instead of sell. They held onto Stroman and Cody Bellinger, in addition to acquiring Jeimer Candelario.
Now the club will have to proceed with their postseason race without Stroman, at least for a little while. He told reporters today, including Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun-Times, that he received a cortisone shot and the plan is for him to miss just one start. If he can get back to health and back to his previous form, that would obviously be a boon to the club.
For now, they will proceed with a rotation of Justin Steele, Drew Smyly, Jameson Taillon and Kyle Hendricks. They will need a fifth starter at some point, which could be Hayden Wesneski, though he’s been pitching out of the big league bullpen of late. Some of the other options on the 40-man roster include Ben Brown and Caleb Kilian. They are currently three games back in the National League Wild Card race.
Stroman is in the second season of a three-year deal that he signed with the Cubs prior to 2022. He can opt out of the final year of that pact, leaving $21MM on the table. If he returns healthy and effective, it should be an easy decision for him to turn that down and secure himself a larger guarantee on the open market this winter. If the issue were to linger into the offseason, that could perhaps change his calculus, though there’s been nothing to suggest that’s likely to be the case.