The Cubs are reinforcing the bullpen a bit today, calling up righty Tommy Nance as a fresh arm, replacing Alec Mills, who threw 1.2 ugly innings yesterday. Mills is going on the Injured List with a lower-back strain.
If you’re a hardcore prospecting/minor league person, you probably remember Nance as a breakout guy in Spring Training. The guy was getting a surprising volume of innings for a 30-year-old minor leaguer, was having success, and looked really intriguing in the process. I recall Bryan remarking on Nance a number of times, including late in 2019 when he started to really pop at Double-A.
The Cubs signed Nance out of independent ball back in 2016, and then he worked his way through the minor leagues as a pure reliever for the next few years. He was shuttled frequently up and down throughout the system, but now he’s earned himself a real look as a big league reliever. Really impressive grind, and impressive results so far at Iowa this year (10 K and just 1 hit and 1 BB over 6.0 innings). Not everyday you get to see a 30-year-old prospect make his big league debut, so I hope it comes soon and I hope it goes well. If he looks at all like he looked in Spring Training, then this day was always coming at some point this season, and I think you’re gonna like what you see.
Nance takes the 40-man spot that was vacated just yesterday by Ildemaro Vargas, and although he’s likely to be another up-down guy this year, he has a real chance to stick on the 40-man roster going into next year and beyond.