Injuries struck the Cubs’ rotation as soon as they decided to cut bait on Carlos Silva, but today they added a little pitching depth by signing veteran left-hander Doug Davis to a minor-league contract.
Davis worked out for a bunch of teams a few weeks ago after being limited to just eight starts last season because of a heart problem and an elbow injury. Prior to that, however, the 35-year-old had a 4.12 ERA in 203 innings for the Diamondbacks in 2009 and he was a pretty consistent mid-rotation starter for most of the decade.
His control has always been shaky and Davis is no sure thing to still be effective at age 35, but as far as low-risk rotation depth goes he’s a nice flier to take. For now he’ll head to extended spring training and then likely report to Triple-A at some point.
UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Davis can earn up to $2 million in salary and incentives if/when the Cubs call him up.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.
Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.
While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.