Cubs want to see what Keegan Thompson can do in the rotation
Prior to Tuesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, the Cubs made a handful of interesting roster moves. They sent Keegan Thompson to Triple-A Iowa and recalled pitchers Kyle Ryan and Cory Abbott.
Ryan and Abbott will take the place of Andrew Chafin (who was traded Monday night) and Thompson on the pitching staff.
Thompson had a 2.21 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP in 40.2 innings with the Cubs this year, appearing 27 times in relief.
The Cubs are going to stretch Thompson out and evaluate whether or not he can become a part of the big league rotation.
Justin Steele recently went 4 innings — his longest outing of the season — for the Iowa Cubs. In 17 innings at Triple-A Iowa, Steele has a 1.56 ERA with a 0.98 WHIP. The left-hander serves as the blueprint for what the Cubs plan to do with Thompson.
“Just stretch him out,” David Ross said. “He was going to need a couple of days — 3 innings about four days ago, two days off, and then back to [Monday], up to 20 pitches yesterday. Get a couple of days off, get him off the bump, stretch him out, get him 40, 50, 60 pitches. We feel like we can get him on kind of more of a starter rotation.”
Thompson and Steele could combine with Adbert Alzolay to form a young trio in the Cubs rotation over the final couple months of the season. Alzolay gave up 4 runs in 5 innings in Tuesday’s 7-4 loss to the Reds.
Ryan in his sixth stint with the Cubs. The 29-year-old pitched 2 innings Tuesday night, allowing 2 runs. Ryan initially signed with the Cubs in December of 2017.
The Cubs called up Abbott for his fourth stint with the big league team. He was the Cubs’ 2nd round pick in 2017 and will provide some length for the team out of the bullpen.