Well, at the most human level, we are obliged to start with our deepest sympathies for Drew Smyly, who will not make his start against the White Sox tonight as he heads to the Bereavement List.
Cubs reliever Scott Effross will start tonight’s game against the White Sox at Wrigley Field as the team is placing Drew Smyly on the bereavement list.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) May 3, 2022
Given this designation, Smyly must miss a minimum of three games (and a maximum of seven). So we’ll see him back soon enough. Again, we wish him the best.
In the meantime, Scott Effross is taking the “start” tonight as the opener, and you hope he can give you something like 2.0 innings, before handing it over to the bulk guy — he’s gone 2.0 full innings just three times in his career and has made just three starts above the Double-A level. As a true reliever, Effross has looked good for the Cubs this season, for whatever that’s worth on a cold, rainy, surprise starting night like tonight.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that Marcus Stroman tossed 7.0 innings on Sunday (preserving the bullpen), and this series is sandwiched between off-days. So in terms of timing, it could have been way worse.
Plus, Sean Newcomb hasn’t pitched since April 29 and Keegan Thompson hasn’t gone since April 27. We might see either/both tonight, depending on how the game’s going, and hopefully you feel good about Kyle Hendricks doing his thing at Wrigley Field tomorrow. I’ll update this post if the Cubs reveal tonight’s “bulk” guy, as well as who’s taking Smyly’s spot on the roster.
UPDATE: Robert Gsellman is coming up to the Cubs in the short-term, though that required a 40-man roster move – Designating Locke St. John for assignment.
Cubs select Robert Gsellman from minors to take Smyly’s spot (bereavement list) on active roster. Locke St. John DFA’d to make room on 40-man.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) May 3, 2022
The Cubs signed Gsellman, a former top-10 Mets prospect, this offseason. Here’s what we had to say about him at the time of the signing.
Gsellman, 28, was a 13th round pick for the Mets back in 2011, and was a top-10 Mets prospect as recently as 2017. He began his big league career as a starter, but has settled in as more of multi-inning reliever over the past few seasons (with an occasional swing start here or there).
Setting aside Gsellman’s expected performance for a moment, I want to remind you that this type of reliever (a multi-inning guy) is going to be more valuable in the NL this season because of the universal DH. No longer will David Ross have to worry about wasting an at-bat on a reliever he’d like in there for more than just a few outs.
Gsellman has made four starts for the Iowa Cubs so far this season with a 1.17 ERA and a .154 AVG against. He has spent a whole lot of time in MLB over the last 6+ years and he can throw pretty hard. He’s a good bet to be used as the bulk guy tonight, because why not? Though I could see Thompson coming in if the game is tighter and the Cubs are looking like they have a chance to win after Effross comes out.