When he was scratched from his start with a tight back on Friday, there was hope that Tyler Chatwood could start on Saturday, just flip-flopping with Alec Mills. And then when that wasn’t going to happen, there was hope he might be able to start one of yesterday’s doubleheader games. And then when that didn’t happen, he was put on the IL with a mid-back strain, retroactive to August 13, there was hope that he might not miss much time.
Well, I guess that one is still in play, but this is a little unnerving:
Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy also said Tyler Chatwood was seeking an opinion from Orthopedic specialist on his back issues.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) August 18, 2020
Hottovy on Chatwood (back) status:
Was to see specialist.
"Hopefully, in the next day or so we'll have a good idea where he is."
Chatwood Last pitched Aug. 6 (was scratched from Friday's start).
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) August 18, 2020
If a guy had a mild thing, then it became an IL thing, and then he’s going to see a back specialist, that’s gonna make you nervous without more information. Sure, it’s possible it’s just a matter of making sure nothing serious is out-of-whack and he can get the green light to go right back at it; but it’s also possible that something’s really funked up, and he needs some scans. TBA, I guess.
In the meantime, you can safely presume that Chatwood will not be making a start in the next few days. Because of the off-day on Thursday, the Cubs won’t need a fifth starter until August 25, one week from today. It’s conceivable Chatwood could be ready to go by then, though at some point he’s going to need a simulated start after missing so much time.
It is, perhaps, more conceivable that the start could go to Jose Quintana, who was up to four innings in a sim game on Sunday, and is throwing a bullpen session today at Wrigley Field. If Quintana is ready to make a start sooner than next week, he could take one of the games before then and bump everyone else back a day. Tommy Hottovy held open the possibility that Quintana could make his next “game” situation a real one with the Cubs (that would mean this weekend), but it depends on how he looks and feels this week. Hope his bullpen session goes well, and the Cubs at least have options.