When we last saw Kohl Stewart with the big league Cubs, he was pitching without any control, with a loss of spin rate, and set the Cubs up to stage a wonderful comeback against the Cardinals at the fully reopened Wrigley Field.
Since then, he was sent back to Iowa, and has made just two appearances. One was very brief back on June 19, and then the next was four shutout innings on June 27. Not sure what was with the timing there, but maybe he was working on various adjustments. In any case, Stewart is the guy coming up today (Lee) to take the place of Tommy Nance, whose option back to Iowa we discussed yesterday.
Stewart, 26, will presumably pitch in long relief – something the Cubs have REALLY needed – but it’s not out of the question that he could slide into the rotation for a start or two depending on what happens with Jake Arrieta, and the timeline for Trevor Williams’ return. As with so many arms who’ve come up this year, there is a lot I like about individual pitches I see from Stewart, and when he can successfully locate north-south, he’s in good shape. Before the Cardinals outing, he was flashing some really intriguing ability, though that was before the sticky stuff edict came down. No accusations here, just wondering what version of Stewart we’ll see next. I choose to be optimistic.