This move was noted Thursday on the Cubs transactions page:
Tommy Nance had been optioned to Triple-A Iowa after throwing 44 pitches in Sunday’s game. He’d barely had time to get to Indianapolis, where the I-Cubs were playing (and who knows, maybe never went there at all, given that MLB players have 72 hours to report when optioned) when he was recalled to the Cubs before Wednesday’s game due to the IL placement of Ryan Tepera.
That’s quite a bit of roster whiplash and it showed Wednesday, when Nance was torched for five runs in 1⅔ innings, including a grand slam hit by Willy Adames.
Nance’s first 12 MLB appearances were scoreless with a WHIP of 0.706 and an .057 opponents BA. He averaged just 13 pitches per outing.
Since then? Uh... seven appearances, 10 innings, 10.80 ERA, three home runs allowed, an average of 24 pitches per outing.
Conclusion: Nance is probably better off throwing only one inning at a time, he seems a bit overexposed if he goes longer. He’s still got talent — check out this pitch mix via Statcast:
So, Nance is now down in Triple-A basically until the All-Star break, barring another pitching injury. Hopefully he can right the ship and come back, because a reliever with a four-pitch mix like that can be quite successful at the MLB level.
With the Cubs having an off day Thursday, no corresponding roster move was announced to replace Nance on the 26-man active roster. Here is the current list of pitchers on the 40-man roster on option to Iowa:
It won’t be Márquez or Rodriguez. Megill is ineligible, having not been down for 10 days. Stewart is eligible, but likely being stretched out to start. Abbott and Ryan are the two eligible possibilities, and Abbott, too, appears to be locked into the Iowa rotation
So if I had to guess right now, we’ll see Kyle Ryan join the Cubs in Cincinnati for Friday’s game. As always, we await developments.