Cubs will bring up minor-leaguer to face deGrom
With the New York Mets set to start Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom on Wednesday, the Cubs decide to counter with a radical move.
They plan to bring up right-hander Robert Stock from Iowa to start Wednesday's game. Like deGrom, Stock is a flamethrower who has been clocked at 101 miles per hour for the Iowa Cubs this season.
This will be Stock's first major league start, but the 31-year-old USC product is not new to the big leagues. He appeared in 52 games as a reliever for the Padres and Red Sox from 2018-20.
"He's been throwing good," Cubs manager David Ross said Tuesday, according to NBC Sports Chicago. "Starting some games, been attacking hitters, getting after guys, throwing strikes. Obviously he throws hard. I'm excited to see what he's got to offer."
The Cubs claimed Stock off waivers from the Red Sox last December. He spent the winter in the Arizona pitch lab, where he added a sinker, improved the shape of his slider and changed some mechanics. Injuries have been an issue for Stock. In the minors, he played in the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds organizations before getting to the majors with San Diego.
"I think you'll see that evidence with how many innings I can throw and stay healthy and everything," Stock told the Des Moines Register in May.
In his last two starts at Iowa, Stock threw 4 innings in each game, with a combined 3 earned runs, 8 strikeouts and 1 walk. On the season, he has a 4.12 ERA in 192⅔ innings, with 25 strikeouts and 4 walks.
According to baseballsavant.com, deGrom has the highest average velocity in MLB on his four-season fastball at 99.2 mph. This season he's posted a 6-2 record, 0.56 ERA, with 103 strikeouts in 64 innings.
The Cubs have had to alter the pitching rotation with Adbert Alzolay (blister) and Trevor Williams (appendectomy) on the injured list. Kohl Stewart has gotten three starts, but the Cubs decided to make a change for this game.