Happy Mother’s Day Chicago Cubs fans! Sadly, there isn’t much good news to spread around on Sunday’s holiday. In fact, the Cubs made a number of moves ahead of Sunday night’s series finale with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team placed RHP Marcus Stroman on the IL. In addition, 1B Frank Schwindel was optioned to Triple-A Iowa, and RHP Adrian Sampson was recalled in his place. With Stroman scratched from Sunday’s start, LHP Justin Steele takes the bump.
With Stroman’s IL stint lacking a designation, there is no certainty regarding when he will return or what is wrong. That said, because there is no designation, he can be activated at any time. That certainly leaves a level of suspense around his IL stint. In addition, although the starting rotation has been very inconsistent to start the season, Stro is coming off 7.0 innings of two-hit, one-walk ball in his win against the Brewers. It felt like Stroman was finally finding his groove, so this speed bump is certainly discouraging.
Due to Stroman’s absence, Adrian Sampson is a notable candidate to come up and fill in. Sampson has shown he is serviceable, and the perfect option to fill in when the Cubs are missing starting arms. On the horizon, the Cubs should be getting Alec Mills and Wade Miley back too, signaling well-needed reinforcements.
Frank the Tank
After an incredible second half of 2021, Frank Schwindel looked like he would at least be a piece of the 2022 team for most of the season. However, after just 25 games in the lineup, Schwindel is making his first trip to Triple-A Iowa since being recalled last season. The fan favorite is slashing .209/.250/.308 with two home runs, three doubles, and nine RBI thus far. However, the most alarming number may be his strikeouts. Schwindel has struck out 21 times already this season. That figure is third most on the team.
It isn’t certain when we see Schwindel again. So far this season, Alfonso Rivas has displayed that he needs everyday playing time at first base. Rivas may be a piece of the future, so his playing time is very important. Sadly for Schwindel, 2021 is far in the rear-view mirror at this point.
What’s On Tap Next?
As noted, Steele will start on Sunday, meaning Kyle Hendricks gets the nod on Monday in San Diego. The Cubs have three games with the Padres before an off day on Thursday. Following the off day, the Cubs venture to the desert to pay the Diamondbacks a visit. Sunday night presents a perfect opportunity for Justin Steele to throw a gem on national television and gives Cubs fans something positive on Mother’s Day.
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