Wade Miley got a late start this spring and hasn’t appeared in Cactus League action as he works through some things on his own timetable, but a recent development means he’ll miss at least the start of the regular season. The veteran lefty has been shut down after an MRI showed inflammation in the left elbow that had been giving him trouble throughout spring.
“Not too concerned right now,” David Ross said Friday. “It wasn’t anything that was when he was throwing, so we’re kinda slow-playing it a little bit, a little discomfort with his arms going over his head in his windup. It started to get a little bit worse and just not going away, so we wanted to be precautionary and get some pictures taken and maybe solve a little bit, get some information.
“Let that thing calm down, and get him back started, so I think he’ll be down for about 10 days.”
It was already assumed that Miley would be a minimal part of the rotation in the early going even if he had been able to make a Cactus League start, so this doesn’t really change much for the Cubs. Alec Mills will likely take the fifth rotation spot and might even remain there as sort of a tandem once Miley is able to return.
Kyle Hendricks and Marcus Stroman were the only guarantees, but Ross confirmed that Drew Smyly is in the rotation and the manager has indicated that Justin Steele will be as well. Having those two extra roster spots for the first few weeks was already going to be important for a team with way too many unnecessary questions surrounding the staff, but now that leeway is a godsend.
It should be really interesting to see how Ross is able to maneuver through the first week or two at the very least, and that’s assuming Miley is able to get back to throwing here soon. Rather than lean on some of the depth they’ve acquired by signing veterans, I’d personally prefer to see the team roll with the young pitchers we’ve seen too little of over the last few years. May as well see what they’ve got, right?