Cubs Injury Notes: Mills With a New Issue, Miley Live BP, Simmons Another Setback

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Cubs Injury Notes: Mills With a New Issue, Miley Live BP, Simmons Another Setback

Chicago Cubs

Well, the anticipated changes when rosters shrink from 28 to 26 next week just got okeydoked …

Alec Mills was going to make another (final?) rehab start at Iowa this weekend, but due to quad tightness, he’s going to chill for a few days to re-evaluate. No imminent return to the big league team for Mills.

That means, when rosters shrink on Monday, despite the ability to keep an extra pitcher, Mills won’t be factoring into that extra squeeze. Mark Leiter Jr. will stay in the rotation for a bit longer, it seems, and might even get more starts beyond next Monday. I had been anticipating he would either be optioned back to Iowa after Monday’s start, or would become a pure opener/two-inning reliever if he stuck around on the big league roster. Not sure that’s going to be the case now, or at least not for a while, since it’s hard to imagine Mills being ready to come back by that next turn through the rotation.

You start to wonder now if Wade Miley will be back before Mills. The Cubs seem to be still playing it very cautious with Miley (elbow) in his ramp back up. He threw live BP today, per Maddie Lee, with three up-and-downs for a total of 46 pitches. A rehab stint as soon as this weekend is conceivable, but it’ll obviously depend on how he feels tomorrow. I think it’s pretty unlikely he makes his Cubs debut late next week (i.e., taking that Leiter spot late next week), but I suppose it’s conceivable.

As for Andrelton Simmons, he’s back to feeling shoulder soreness, so now you have to wonder how much longer he’ll be out:

If the Cubs don’t think Simmons can realistically debut within a month, then they will seriously have to consider moving him to the 60-day IL the next time they need a 40-man spot. Could allow them to bring up a different back-up shortstop like Ildemaro Vargas or Dixon Machado, neither of whom is currently on the 40-man. It doesn’t even seem plausible that Simmons could be ready until mid-May at this point, which means a 60-day designation (backdated to April 4) keeps him out only another two or three weeks at that point.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.