Cubs starter Marcus Stroman re-evaluated, continuing with light activity

Notes: Expanded rosters go into effect at the end of the week.

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Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman delivers during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Monday, July 31, 2023, in Chicago. He hasn’t pitched in a game since.

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman delivers during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Monday, July 31, 2023, in Chicago. He hasn’t pitched in a game since.

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The re-evaluation of Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman on Monday revealed the fracture in his rib cartilage is healing, but it didn’t provide a concrete timeline for his return.

Stroman was cleared to continue with light activity, which the Cubs hope will help support his progression when he eventually ramps up to a throwing program.

‘‘Where it goes from here now is the real important thing,’’ manager David Ross said Tuesday. ‘‘Let’s check back in a week or so and see where we’re at from there. But right now he’s feeling better, it’s healing and he’s able to do more than the initial few days. It was apparently pretty painful.’’

Stroman last pitched in a game about a month ago, with persistent inflammation in his right hip affecting his mechanics even before then. Just when he was ready to return from 15 days on the injured list, he was diagnosed with the rib-cartilage injury.

‘‘Marcus is as strong and hardworking and put together as probably anybody that you could think in [coming] back from that,’’ Ross said when discussing the factors affecting Stroman’s timeline. ‘‘Probably what he’s able to tolerate when he starts to do work, how much it affects him and [whether he is] effective. He wasn’t very effective before he went on [the IL], so getting back and being good is also part of the equation.’’

Expanded rosters coming

September roster expansion goes into effect at the end of the week and will provide the Cubs with reinforcements.

‘‘We’re consistently looking for ways to develop our players and also help our major-league team at the same time,’’ vice president of player development Jared Banner said. ‘‘Sometimes those things dovetail perfectly; other times they don’t. So I don’t think we want to let Sept. 1 necessarily dictate that decision-making.’’

As noted in the Sun-Times last week, Pete Crow-Armstrong, Alexander Canario and Yonathan Perlaza are among the position players the Cubs have discussed in terms of September call-ups. Left-handers Luke Little and Brendon Little have put themselves in the conversation on the pitching side.

Players must be in the organization before Sept. 1 to be eligible for the postseason roster, which makes it an important date for signings and waiver claims. But teams have flexibility through injury replacements to add players who aren’t on the 40-man roster by Sept. 1 to postseason rosters.

Injury updates

On Monday, the Cubs’ medical staff also evaluated veteran reliever Michael Fulmer (strained right forearm).

When Fulmer went on the 15-day IL late last week, Ross was hopeful he would need only a minimum stint to bounce back. Fulmer recovered quickly enough that the team determined he didn’t need to undergo imaging. He’s set to resume throwing in a few days.

Right-hander Nick Burdi (appendectomy), whose rehab was paused when he experienced irritation in the ulnar nerve of his pitching elbow in recent weeks, is set to resume throwing in a couple of days. He has been on the IL since late May.

Roster move

The Cubs put right-handed reliever José Cuas on the bereavement list Monday and recalled left-hander Anthony Kay.

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