Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman took the mound for the Iowa Cubs tonight, trying to get himself in a position to return to the big league team after just one rehab start. Stroman has been working his way back from shoulder inflammation that popped up after he missed a month with a case of COVID.
Tonight’s outing, if you went by the results, doesn’t scream for an immediate return:
Stroman was limited to 50-ish pitches in the outing, so he was never going to go particularly deep, but you still would’ve wanted to see him complete at least three innings. He did not. After a trio of hits in the second that plated a run, Stroman similarly gave up a string of hits in the third that ended his evening.
Stroman was ultimately charged with five earned runs on seven hits and one walk through 2.2 innings, with only one of the runs scoring after he’d left the game. Sounds like at least some of it was groundballs finding holes:
Would I have liked to see a deeper start with more “success”? Sure. All else equal, why wouldn’t you? But do the results tonight freak me out? Eh. Not any more or less than I was already thinking.
Either way, I just can’t take too much away from the results of a rehab outing. We’ve seen it far too many times that it just doesn’t predict much in any direction (good results or bad); all that really seems to matter is how healthy the guy seems to be, and how he recovers the next day or two.
Stay tuned on that front, and on the question of whether Marcus Stroman gets another rehab start or if the Cubs feel he’s ready to come back. There’s really no reason to rush with him this year.