David Ross announced Tuesday that Tyler Chatwood will be activated Tuesday and will take the mound to start against the Tigers that evening. The righty was scratched from his scheduled start in the second game of the series against Milwaukee a little over a week ago due to a stiff back, but responded well upon resuming a throwing program recently.
That means José Quintana will join the bullpen when he is also activated Tuesday, though exactly how that will work out has yet to be seen. The lefty pitched into the 4th inning on 48 pitches in his first simulated game at South Bend, but then threw only 28 pitches over two innings this past Friday. Whether it was in preparation for his new role or because the previous outing had stretched him too far isn’t entirely clear.
A return to the ‘pen seemed most likely for Q from the start since he’d missed all of summer camp due to surgery to repair an injured nerve in his pitching hand. The Cubs have obviously remained tight-lipped about the specifics of the injury and subsequent recovery, but it’s reasonable to believe there could be lingering issues with grip and/or stamina.
Think about how strong your grip has to be to execute pitching at an elite level, then imagine how quickly that can all go away from any injury. Add in a laceration so severe that it injured a nerve and it makes sense that Q simply isn’t ready to carry the load of a starting pitcher.
Corresponding moves will be announced when these are made official.