Lefty starter Drew Smyly is finally back from his oblique injury, and I think you could see him permitted to throw upwards of 65 pitches today if his performance justifies it. Although he had just one rehab start, it was on the longer end, and he also had a very deliberate rehab process over the past six weeks.
Smyly, 33, has a 3.80 ERA on the year for the Cubs over nine starts, but hasn’t pitched since May 30. If he is to be considered a trade piece at the deadline, interested teams will want to see that his capable performance can remain, even after this injury.
To make room for Smyly, frequent up-down reliever Michael Rucker goes back down. The Cubs have another roster move to make soon on the pitching side (Justin Steele returning from paternity leave), so Rucker won’t be alone in heading out.