Ian Stewart went and got himself suspended for ten games for telling the world that he thinks the Cubs hate him and that he’d be better off someplace else. Now, Jon Heyman reports, he’s about to be someplace else. Or, at the very least, out of the Cubs organization:
Third baseman Ian Stewart and the Cubs are on the verge of working out an arrangement for Stewart to leave the organization, people familiar with the situation said. This comes two weeks after he expressed frustration with his situation via a couple of revealing tweets.
The resolution allowing him to move to another organization is expected to come within a couple of days.
Considering he’s on a guaranteed $2 million contract I’m not exactly sure what Stewart would agree to other than an outright release. And given that Stewart is batting just .168/.286/.372 in 133 plate appearances this season at the Triple-A level, I’m not sure who else would be all that interested in his services.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.