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Cubs roster move: Mike Montgomery activated, Alec Mills optioned to Iowa

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MiMo is back and in the rotation.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It had been announced earlier this week that Mike Montgomery would come off the disabled list and start Thursday night’s game in Atlanta, and so the only question that remained was: Who would be removed from the 25-man roster to make room?

And now we know!

There’s been no official announcement, but the Cubs transactions list tells us the story:

8/30/18 Chicago Cubs optioned RHP Alec Mills to Iowa Cubs.

Now, you might wonder why this is being done, since the Cubs have gone on record as saying they want to stick with a six-man rotation, at least until the stretch of 23 games in 23 days ends with an off day Thursday, September 13.

Mills would be on schedule, under the six-man rotation, to start Tuesday evening against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

But, you’re saying, once a player is optioned he has to stay in the minor leagues for 10 days.

That’s true, but there are two exceptions to the 10-day rule. One is that an optioned player can be recalled prior to 10 days if there’s an injury.

The other exception is when the minor-league season ends... which it does on Monday, September 3. So Mills can be recalled to start the game Tuesday, September 4, and almost certainly will be.

Heck, it’s likely Mills doesn’t even report to Des Moines, since he wouldn’t be pitching over the next five days. It’s not like Iowa needs him, as they are currently 35 games under .500. My guess is that Mills just hangs out in the apartment or hotel room where he’s been staying in Chicago since his previous recall a week ago, then joins the Cubs in Milwaukee next Tuesday.

At least that’s the way I see it. In any case, Montgomery will be active tonight and start the game for the Cubs against the Braves.