Marcus Stroman’s return from IL delayed; Javier Assad likely to start Wednesday for Cubs

Stroman is being evaluated for what the Cubs call right rib discomfort.

SHARE Marcus Stroman’s return from IL delayed; Javier Assad likely to start Wednesday for Cubs
Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman won’t pitch Wednesday against the White Sox as originally planned.

Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman won’t pitch Wednesday against the White Sox as originally planned.

Charles Rex Arbogas/AP

The Cubs’ starting pitching plans this week changed when right-hander Marcus Stroman felt discomfort on the right side of his ribs.

He originally was scheduled to be activated off the 15-day injured list to start Wednesday against the White Sox. He’ll be evaluated by the team’s medical staff, but it already was clear Tuesday afternoon that he would not pitch. Instead, Javier Assad will “more than likely” start, manager David Ross said.

“We’ve got to wait and see,” Ross said when asked his level of concern Tuesday before the two-game crosstown series opener at Wrigley Field.

Stroman landed on the IL two weeks ago with inflammation in his right hip. He received a cortisone shot and ramped up to a game-like bullpen session Friday. Both his health and mechanics were trending in the right direction. But after a light bullpen session Sunday, Stroman’s ribs began bothering him later in the day, Ross said.

“The one positive to all this is Javier Assad’s thrown the ball really well,” Ross said.

Assad held the Blue Jays to one run through seven innings Friday. Wednesday will mark his third start since Stroman went on the IL.

As long as Stroman’s new ailment doesn’t force an extended delay, the Cubs have the off days and personnel to manage his absence. The team has another off day Thursday.

The Cubs need Stroman healthy and in sync for the stretch run.

Stroman, who posted a 2.28 ERA in his first 16 starts of the season, began having trouble with his mechanics in late June, when he left his start in London early with a blister on his finger. Then, his hip ailment limited him in between starts, and he tried to compensate for the injury.

Roster move

The Cubs recalled right-hander Michael Rucker from Triple-A Iowa and optioned right-hander Caleb Kilian, rotating the long reliever depth in their bullpen.

Kilian threw a taxing inning against the Blue Jays on Sunday, tossing 37 pitches and allowing three runs.

Rucker was starting in Triple-A in his latest stint, throwing three innings in both outings. He last pitched Friday, so he’s rested enough to throw multiple innings in relief.

DSL pitcher disciplined

MLB announced Cubs Dominican Summer League pitcher Dalbert Mosquea received a 56-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Stanozolol, a banned performance enhancing substance. Mosquea, 18, has pitched in nine games this season, posting a 3.14 ERA.

Quotable

“It’s kind of like, ‘Wow, this is the fastest but slowest year ever.’ There’s only [about] 45 games left, but it’s like, ‘Oh, we’ve still got 45 games left.’ For us, the biggest thing is just to build on each day. We’ve done such a good job with that.” — Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson, on whether it’s too early to scoreboard watch

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