The Chicago Cubs scratched Drew Smyly and will start right-hander Marcus Stroman on Wednesday night against the host Miami Marlins.
The contest will be the rubber game of a three-game series between Miami (61-88) and Chicago (63-85), two teams that are out of playoff contention. The Marlins won the opener 10-3 on Monday, and the Cubs prevailed 2-1 on Tuesday.
Cubs manager David Ross didn’t seem overly concerned with Smyly’s issue.
“There’s been some stuff bothering him, and he’s been pushing through it,” Ross said. “He was just a bit sore after his last start.”
Stroman (4-7, 3.76 ERA) will be pitching on his normal four days of rest. He leads the Cubs in innings pitched (119 2/3) and he is on pace to post an ERA under 4.00 for his third straight season.
Despite his solid numbers, the Cubs are just 6-16 when he starts this year.
In four career starts against the Marlins, Stroman is 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA. He has yet to face Miami this year.
Stroman will hope for offensive support from third baseman Patrick Wisdom, leads the Cubs with 22 homers. Wisdom has 59 RBIs, two short of his career high set last year. His career high in homers — 28 — was set in 2021 as well.
“He’s made some strides in areas he wanted to improve,” Ross said.
However, Wisdom hasn’t played since Saturday due to injury.
“He’s had a setback with this stinger thing,” Ross said. “He’s tried to play through that, and, at times, it’s been tough on him.”
Ross also said he’s pleased with his team’s effort, despite the losing record.
“That’s what culture is — coming in every day, supporting each other, trusting one another, competing night in and night out,” he said.
The Marlins will start lefty Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.75 ERA).
Miami is just 3-12 in Luzardo’s starts this year. Luzardo likely deserves better given that he has seven quality starts and just the three wins.
Perhaps his best start of the year came on Aug. 7 in Chicago, where he held the Cubs to one hit, one walk and no runs in seven innings.
In two career starts against the Cubs, Luzardo is 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA.
Run support has been an issue for Luzardo for most of this season.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly has gone to a young lineup with rookies such as first baseman Lewin Diaz, infielders Jordan Groshans and Charles Leblanc and outfielders JJ Bleday and Jerar Encarnacion.
Groshans has played seven games and is off to a great start, batting .348 with an .878 OPS.
“I like the way Jordan has looked,” Mattingly said. “For a guy who hadn’t played a lot at third base, he’s done a nice job over there.
“He has plenty of arm for third base. His at-bats have been very good. He has shown he could be a gap-to-gap hitter with some power as he grows into his body. We’re just going to let him keep getting at-bats so he can gain experience.”
–Field Level Media