It looks like the Cubs may have kicked their roster crunch down the road just a little further on Wednesday when it was announced that Alec Mills was being scratched from his scheduled Friday rehab start due to quad tightness. The veteran righty will take a couple days off before being re-evaluated, then he may throw a bullpen before taking the mound for Iowa again.
Alec Mills felt right quad tightness while working out yesterday. He won’t pitch this week.
Mills will have a couple days off & then #Cubs will plan next steps.
He could throw a bullpen before making another rehab start.
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) April 27, 2022
Mills went three innings last Friday, giving up three runs on eight hits, including one homer, and striking out five with no walks. Seems like one of those outings meant to do little other than knock off the rust, so this next one would have been a little more telling. This setback isn’t great news for the Cubs, but another recent decision gives them some leeway.
Rosters shrink to 26 over the weekend, but the league and union agreed to allow teams to roster up to 14 pitchers through May 29. That’s good news for a team that hasn’t gotten much length from its rotation and is in the midst of a tough stretch of games. Of course, it also means continuing to roll with at least one starter who wouldn’t otherwise be in that role.
Wade Miley is working toward a return as well, so that should help things quite a bit. The flip side is that the Cubs are already giving more playing time to players who shouldn’t be starting over Alfonso Rivas, making it a near certainty that the first baseman is yet again a casualty of pending procedural moves.