CHICAGO (AP) — Whenever Alec Mills makes it back to the Chicago Cubs, he plans to be ready for whatever manager David Ross needs from him.
Mills is rehabbing a low back strain that landed him on the 10-day injured list on opening day. The veteran right-hander pitched three innings in a rehab start with Triple-A Iowa on Saturday, allowing three runs and eight hits.
He is expected to make another rehab start with Iowa on Thursday or Friday.
“I feel good. I obviously need to get to a position where I can throw multiple innings,” Mills said. “So go out there and get another outing under my belt and feel good again, see where we go from there.”
The 30-year-old Mills set career highs with 32 appearances and 20 starts for Chicago last year, finishing with a 6-7 record and a 5.07 ERA. He said he is up for whatever is needed when he comes off the IL.
“I’m building up to start games, but whatever happens when I get back is what I’ll do,” he said.
The Cubs also have left-hander Wade Miley on the IL with elbow inflammation. Miley threw about 50 pitches in a bullpen session on Saturday, and he is expected to throw a live BP on Wednesday.
Ross indicated before Sunday’s 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh that the plan is to have both Mills and Miley in the rotation when they come back. But he left open the possibility for changes depending on injuries and other factors.
“The true direction is to start Wade, and I think the true direction for me would be to start Millsy as well,” Ross said. “That’s how he’s building up.”
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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