Stroman, Smyly To Start Drug Rehab, Near Return Originally Appeared On NBC Sports Chicago
Injured starting pitchers Marcus Stroman (shoulder) and Drew Smyly (oblique) will begin minor league rehab as the two veterans nearly return to the Cubs rotation.
Stroman will pitch for Triple-A Iowa on Sunday and Smyly said he will pitch on Monday for Single-A South Bend or the I-Cubs – which are on their way in Indianapolis.
Smyly, who has been on the injured list since tensing his left oblique against the Brewers on May 30, is targeting three innings and about 50 pitches during his rehab outing.
The lefthander, who signed a one-year contract with the Cubs in March, has a 3.80 ERA in nine starts this season.
Stroman hopes he only needs to start rehab once before rejoining the Cubs, though it will depend on how he comes out of his Sunday performance. He will throw 3-4 innings and throw about 55 pitches.
Stroman has not pitched since June 3 and has only made four starts in the past two months. He missed 19 days in May due to a battle with COVID-19 and said on Saturday he was “a little too aggressive” coming out of that absence.
In his first start back from the COVID IL, May 19 vs. Arizona, he threw 77 pitches in five innings.
“I never recovered after that day,” Stroman said. “So I think I should be good to go after this, and I’d assume I’d be there every fifth day and feel good for the rest of the year.”
Stroman said he feels “much better” physically now and that he did the “right build up” this time. That includes a two-inning, 36-pitch live batting practice session Tuesday and a bullpen session Friday.
“The progression is perfect to get me in line where the build-up is perfect,” he said.
After an up and down April, Stroman was dominant in May (1.50 ERA, four starts) before giving up nine runs in four innings in his last start, taking his ERA to 5.32 in nine appearances.
He’s looking forward to getting back on the hill and battling the rest of the way.
‘Yes. I have a zest for life, always,” Stroman said. “I’m excited to wake up, so yeah. Definitely going out there and being able to compete, that’s why we work as hard as we do.
“I’m looking forward to the next three months. The group of guys we have here is incredible. Everyone is training and working non-stop. Nobody gets lazy even when we go through the hard times.
“It’s good to see that the work is always a priority for everyone in the team.”
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