Tyler Chatwood started his throwing program a day before José Quintana began his, but Quintana may return sooner from the injured list.
“Q’s doing great,” Cubs manager David Ross said Friday. “Q’s going to be on par if not ahead of Chatty here soon, the way he’s been feeling, talking to the trainer. So, they’re coming along.”
The Cubs placed Chatwood (right forearm strain) and Quintana (left lat inflammation) on the 10-day injured list a week and a half ago. Chatwood progressed to a “touch-and-feel” bullpen on Friday, according to the Cubs. Ross has not given a timetable for their returns.
Quintana's and Chatwood's injuries left a hole in the Cubs’ starting rotation. The team recalled 25-year-old Adbert Alzolay for two spot starts. But after impressing in his first two outing with the Cubs this season, Alzolay struggled with command in his last two starts.
The Cubs have two days off next week, pushing back their need for a fifth starter for a couple weeks. The Cubs optioned Alzolay to the South Bend alternate site and recalled left-handed reliever Rex Brothers on Friday.
Strop is ‘getting close’
Information out of South Bend and from Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy suggests reliever Pedro Strop is “getting close,” to being an option to call up, Ross said.
The Cubs announced on Monday that they’d signed Strop to a minor league deal, after the Reds released him. Strop spent seven seasons with the Cubs, but his velocity dipped and his ERA rose in 2019, his last year with the club.
“The pitch data is still a little bit down on him,” Ross said. “We want to get him built back up a little more.”
Ross said he plans to check in with Strop, a former teammate, in a couple days.
Marquez could ‘impact’ Cubs
Top Cubs pitching prospect Brailyn Marquez is “another guy that’s getting close,” Ross said.
According to Ross, development coaches in South Bend have identified Marquez as a player who “may be able to impact” the big-league team down the road.
“It’s a wait and see game,” Ross said.
Left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin, who the Cubs acquired at the trade deadline, threw a 25-pitch bullpen Thursday, according to Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein.
Chafin “threw all his pitches and looked really good,” Ross said.
The lefty was on the 10-day injured list for a sprained finger on his left hand when the Cubs traded a player to be named later or cash consideration to the Diamondbacks for Chafin and cash.