Cubs could add Marcus Stroman to the bullpen later this week

If all goes well in his next live BP session, the veteran could join the team as a reliever.
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

Last week, we got good news on Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman as he works his way back - and his next test will come via a live BP session in Arizona on Monday. Should that go well, he could head out on a minor league rehab assignment and then join the team as a reliever for the final weeks of the regular season.

Entering action Sunday, Chicago had dropped three straight to the Diamondbacks, who have closed the gap in the race for the second NL Wild Card spot to just one game - and could pull into a tie if they complete the sweep of the Cubs at Wrigley. The problem hasn't been the pitching; the offense has gone ice-cold at the worst possible time. Still, adding Stroman back to the mix would be a big plus.

Cubs could get a shot in the arm via a Marcus Stroman return

For much of the season, Stroman and NL Cy Young candidate Justin Steele gave Chicago one of the best 1-2 punches in all of baseball. But as Steele continued to dominate, things started going sideways for Stroman - eventually ending with him hitting the IL. Then, as we thought he was about to return, a second injury wound up prolonging his stint and that's where we've stood.

His last start came back on July 31. On the year, the two-time All-Star and former Gold Glover carries a 3.85 ERA in 23 starts. If he returns and how he performs could be deciding factors not only in whether or not the Cubs make the postseason, but also whether or not Stroman decides to opt out of his player option for 2024.

For now, we wait. Monday is a big day - but if all goes well, we could see Stroman back with the team before what's become an increasingly critical series against Arizona in Phoenix this weekend.