We’ve got our mystery man for tomorrow’s Cubs start: Triple-A reliever Robert Stock, per David Ross.
Stock, 31, had been filling in as a “starter” at Iowa lately given their own rotation absences, and has gone back-to-back 4.0-inning affairs with good results. That might not translate to four quality innings at the big league level, but when it’s a bullpen game anyway, you’re just happy if you can get a few innings of one-run ball. Note that Alec Mills is starting tonight for the Cubs, so, uh, here’s hoping he also can go a lot of innings. Gonna need that bullpen refreshed and ready tomorrow.
As for Stock, he’s the guy you might remember from clips throwing 101 mph at Iowa – he does that sometimes. The stuff is very good, and the control at Iowa has been superlative (mere 4.9% walk rate against 30.5% strikeout rate). That’s a stark contrast to his pre-Cubs career, so here’s hoping he and they together figured something out. It’ll be fun to see his 100-ish mph fastball paired up against Jacob deGrom, eh?!
Stock does have minor league options left, but is not on the 40-man roster. That means the Cubs will have to open up a spot there for him by DFA’ing someone, or alternatively shifting someone to the 60-day IL (some plausible candidates there, though no one on the IL is yet a lock (publicly) to miss 60+ days, so it would be new information if it happens).
After the move tomorrow, it’s possible the Cubs will send Stock right back out, or it’s possible they’ll keep him up for extra depth in the bullpen at a tricky time. Not like he hasn’t looked like a big league contributor this year at Iowa (lots of guys have!).
— Caleb Webb (@calebgwebb) June 9, 2021