Jon Lester threw a 50-pitch side session prior to their big win and the Cubs announced late Wednesday night that the lefty would return to the starting rotation on Saturday. That’s the spot he’d have occupied had he not gone to the DL, one that’s been filled by Mike Montgomery for the last two turns. But Lester’s activation doesn’t mean Monty will go back to the pen, at least not yet.
Montgomery will now pitch Sunday, which pushes Jake Arrieta back to Monday for the finale against the Braves. Going with a six-man rotation makes sense for at least the time being, with the Cubs playing 20 games in as many days. After their set with Atlanta, they head to Pittsburgh for four and then back to Wrigley for three against the Brewers.
The next off-day comes on September 11, after which we might see a return to the more standard setup. Then again, the standings and the performance of the men in question may determine that over the next couple of weeks.