Cubs Roster Moves: Mills to the IL, Rucker Coming Up

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Cubs Roster Moves: Mills to the IL, Rucker Coming Up

Chicago Cubs

It’s hard not to feel bad for Alec Mills.

Despite throwing a no-hitter in 2020 (and finishing the season as a Gold Glove finalist), he’s never really taken that next step forward in his career. Usually, he’s still able to be a useful pitcher for the Cubs in the bullpen/swing role, but this season, injuries haven’t even allowed for that.

After a lower back injury kept him off the Opening Day roster – and a quad injury extended his stay on the IL – Mills finally made his regular season debut early last month. But seven pitches into last night’s game, that same lower back injury (lower back “strain” to be precise) popped back up and now he’s headed back to the IL.

I don’t know what the Cubs plans are for Mills long term, but even though he isn’t even arbitration eligible until next season (and not a free agent until after 2025), he is out of options. I’m guessing the Cubs really hope he can get healthy before the end of this season to prove he’s worthy of a 40-man spot all winter long.

In his place, the Cubs will re-call Michael Rucker.

Rucker, 28, has been up and down with the Cubs all season, usually occupying that long-man in the bullpen role. He’s got a 5.49 ERA across 19.1 MLB innings, with a solid 24.4% strikeout rate. At Triple-A Iowa, he’s got a 0.87 ERA over 10.1 IP.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami