When the Chicago Cubs placed Yu Darvish on the disabled list yesterday (parainfluenze virus), one day before his start, there was a bit of uncertainty over who would take the start this evening.
After all, the last-minute nature of the scratch eliminated the most exciting option, Adbert Alzolay, because he had started too recently. In preparation, the Cubs had pulled Triple-A starter Jen-Ho Tseng from his start last night, but that seemed to be out of caution, because they didn’t commit to him as early as this morning.
But now, they’re ready to commit:
Tseng gets the start tonight https://t.co/9HfyG0dJqQ
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) May 8, 2018
Jen-Ho Tseng will start for #Cubs tonight
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 8, 2018
Fortunately, Tseng was already on the 40-man roster, having made his big-league debut for the Cubs last season, and Darvish has already been sent to the DL, so no associated roster move (40-man or otherwise) was necessary in this case.
Unfortunately, Tseng has struggled … mightily … at Triple-A Iowa this season, earning an 8.04 ERA (5.71 FIP). Indeed, through six starts at Iowa, Tseng has struck out just 20.7% of the batters he’s faced, while allowing an 8.4% walk rate and .319 average against. He did have a lot more success there last season, however, earning a 1.80 ERA (4.25 FIP) through nine starts.
Fortunately, the bullpen is well-rested after Kyle Hendricks and recent-call-up Cory Mazzoni handled all nine innings yesterday, and Yu Darvish should be able to make his next scheduled start (Monday, the 14th against the Braves) thanks to some crafty back-dating on the DL stint.
This will be Tseng’s third appearance and second start in the Major Leagues, and I expect him to have a fairly short leash. Good luck.