Major League Baseball
Cubs RHP Marcus Stroman has a rib cartilage fracture, no timetable for his return
Major League Baseball

Cubs RHP Marcus Stroman has a rib cartilage fracture, no timetable for his return

Updated Aug. 16, 2023 8:46 p.m. ET

Chicago Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman has a right rib cartilage fracture, and there is no timetable for his return.

The new injury for Stroman, who was placed on the 15-day injured list Aug. 2 because of inflammation in his right hip, is a blow for the Cubs as they try for the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2020.

"He’s been an important part of our success when he’s healthy, and you know, it stinks. Bad news," manager David Ross said. "But we’ll continue on. This game moves on.

"Stroman was slated to come off the IL and start Wednesday against the White Sox, but he experienced some discomfort in the rib area after throwing a bullpen session Sunday in Toronto. He visited a doctor Monday and had an MRI that showed the cartilage fracture.


"We had no idea what it was," President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer said. "It’s not your usual pitching injury. It’s not an arm. It’s not a shoulder. It’s not an elbow."

The Cubs want Stroman to be symptom-free before he resumes baseball activities, and they aren’t sure when the All-Star might get to that point — given the unusual injury for a pitcher. So Hoyer and Ross had little to offer when asked for a potential timeline for Stroman’s return.

"We don’t really know at this point," Hoyer said. "I think we’ll obviously give him a real rest period and see how he feels. But again, it’s not a real common pitching injury. I’ve never seen that before, so for me to speculate, would be just false."

The 32-year-old Stroman, who can become a free agent after the season, had a 2.28 ERA after his first 16 starts this year. But he had struggled before his IL stint, going 1-4 with a 9.00 ERA in his last nine games.

Javier Assad was slated to start the series finale against the White Sox, and Ross mentioned Drew Smyly and Hayden Wesneski as two rotation possibilities while Stroman is out. Smyly pitched a scoreless inning Sunday at Toronto after he had a 9.00 ERA over his previous eight appearances, including six starts.

"I think we’ve got a great team," Ross said. "We’ve got a great starting staff. We got a really good bullpen. Stro’s a really good pitcher. We all know that, and he’s been a big part of our success. But anybody can win on any given day, and we’ve got a lot of talent in that room."

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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Marcus Stroman
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