The health of the Chicago Cubs rotation is quickly becoming a concern.
The Cubs placed right-hander Marcus Stroman on the 15-day injured list Friday, retroactive to Tuesday, with right shoulder inflammation. Stroman hasn’t felt right since returning from the COVID IL on May 19, according to manager David Ross.
“The hope right now is that we can get him back as soon as possible,” Ross said. “When you get bumps and bruises, you’re not at 100%. It affects everybody’s performance.”
It’s also unclear when right-hander Kyle Hendricks will make his next start. Hendricks is “dealing with some stuff,” Ross said Friday, which is why the Cubs have given him extra rest. Hendricks, who threw a bullpen Friday, hasn’t started since June 1.
“He’ll pitch in the near future,” Ross said. “If Kyle didn’t have something going on, he’d pitch.”
The Cubs were dealt another potential blow Friday night. Hours after he was activated from the IL, left-hander Wade Miley exited Friday’s 2-1 loss in 13 innings with left shoulder soreness. Miley felt something the shoulder on a pitch to Josh Donaldson in the third. He was able to finish the eight-pitch at-bat despite the feeling lingering pain during the final four or five pitches, getting Donaldson to line out to center field to end the inning.
The discomfort went away between innings. But Miley threw one warmup pitch before the fourth and knew his shoulder still wasn’t right. Ross and a trainer ran out to check on him, and Miley came out. Left-hander Daniel Norris already had been warming up and was called on in relief, giving up a go-ahead home run on his first pitch. Miley threw three scoreless innings against the Yankees, walking one and striking out two batters.
The left shoulder soreness is a discouraging development for Miley after he spent 15 days on the IL with a left shoulder strain. He described it as the same feeling as what put him on the IL. He felt good when throwing what he described as “aggressive” bullpens the past two weeks.
Miley’s shoulder will be examined Monday when the Cubs are back in Chicago. He didn’t want to predict whether he will need another trip to the IL, noting that last time he thought he didn’t need an IL stint, it turned out incorrect.
“It’s the same thing that I went on the IL for, which I wasn’t concerned about at all — maybe I just didn’t give it enough time,” Miley said. “But that’s on me. I pushed myself back, but I’ve been feeling good.
“It’s just been very frustrating.”
The Cubs have not yet announced who will start Sunday’s series final at Yankee Stadium.
“There’s no secret formula I’ve got,” Ross said. “I want those guys out there for sure.”