Cubs injury updates: Willson Contreras, Wade Miley, Drew Smyly and more
Tuesday was an eventful day for the Cubs — and that was before you consider that it was the opening game of the Crosstown Series presented by Wintrust against the White Sox.
The Cubs placed Drew Smyly — who was the probable starter for Tuesday’s game — on the bereavement list. In a corresponding move, Robert Gsellman’s contract was selected with Locke St. John designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. Scott Effross started the game for the Cubs. Effross served as the opener, pitching 1.1 innings allowing 2 runs on 2 hits before making way for Keegan Thompson.
For Effross, his ability to adapt and perform in any situation has been a blessing for the Cubs.
“I think just his profile helps,” David Ross said before the game. “The ability to get the groundball, the ability to strike guys out and the ability to throw strikes, he seemed to handle each moment I throw at him really well.
“He did that last year and continues to grow into that. I’ve got a lot of confidence in him.”
It was part of a flurry of injury updates from Wrigley Field. Here’s a rundown on some of the other Cubs:
For the third game in a row, Contreras was not behind the plate — he was the designated hitter Saturday in Milwaukee and was not in the starting lineup Sunday in Milwaukee or Tuesday at Wrigley. Ross said he was day-to-day with an injury “somewhere in the middle” of his body.
“He’ll be available off the bench; it’s nothing serious,” Ross said.
Miley played catch Tuesday and was scheduled to go on a rehab assignment on Thursday.
“I’m itching to get out there and compete,” Miley said. “I think we did the right thing and looking forward to it.”
His return would provide stability to the Cubs rotation — they currently have just 3 active starters on the roster. Miley was placed on the injured list at the start of the season with elbow inflammation, but has been with the club the whole season, going throw his rehab and build-up process with the big-league team. He hopes to build up to 3 or 4 innings in his rehab start.
Frazier was back in the Cubs clubhouse Tuesday after having an appendectomy 10 days ago. The injury first popped up for Frazier on April 18 when he was preparing to pinch hit against the Rays.
“He actually told me the story of knowing that he was gonna pinch hit and dealing with these pains in the dugout that he thought was — I’m gonna say gas, yeah gas,” Ross said with a smile. “I guess he was there going, ‘I don’t know how I’m gonna pinch hit, but I gotta be ready.’ All this is going on and then we find out he’s got a real condition.”
Frazier was doing his first physical activity Tuesday, riding a stationary bike. Through it all, he didn’t lose any pounds off his frame.
“I’m the same weight now, bro,” Frazier said with a smile.
The Cubs placed Roberts on the 10-day IL Monday, retroactive to April 30 with right shoulder inflammation. The rookie right-hander first felt the injury after Friday’s game against the Brewers, the first time he had pitched in back-to-back days this season.
“His first back-to-back he didn’t come out of it as good as we would have liked,” Ross said. “Maybe that’s just some wear and tear or maybe that’s just getting used to that spot I’m not a doctor and can’t diagnose all that, but I don’t think it’s anything that we’re super alarmed about we just need to calm down some of that inflammation.”