Darvish's next step will be sim game

June 17th, 2018

ST. LOUIS -- will take another step toward returning to the Cubs' rotation when he throws a sim game on Tuesday at Wrigley Field. Darvish, sidelined since May 26 with inflammation in his right triceps, has thrown two bullpen sessions so far.

The Cubs have filled Darvish's spot by moving Mike Montgomery from the bullpen to the rotation. Montgomery, who is 2-1 with a 1.14 ERA in four starts, will make his fifth start on Tuesday against the Dodgers.

Because of Darvish's uncertain status, could the Cubs be looking to add another starting pitcher?

"I don't think right now we know exactly what we may need," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "What we may need on July 31 may be totally different than what we know sitting here right now. Right now, the answers are here. I think we have enough depth, and offensively, we have the right position players. We have pieces internally. That might not be the answer in six weeks, but that's the answer today."

Cubs ready for NLCS rematch vs. Dodgers

Speaking of the Dodgers, the Cubs will face them on Monday at Wrigley Field for the first time since losing the National League Championship Series in five games. The Cubs batted .168 in the NLCS.

"It's twice in the last three years we've hit an offensive wall, and that's why I'm pushing on this other method," Maddon said of his emphasis on better situational hitting. "I think if we're able to move the ball more consistently against better pitching, the home runs aren't always there [we'll fare better] and move the baseball."

Facing the Dodgers and the Nationals, who visit Wrigley Field on Aug. 10-12, will be good tests.

"Milwaukee is good, [the Cardinals] are good, our division is good," Maddon said. "It's nice to play in a strong division. I've always liked that, I liked that in the American League East for years. I thought that really strengthens you against better competition when you play better competition on a consistent basis.

"I think we're as good as anybody."

Cubs sign 2nd-round picks, 8 more

The Cubs have signed second-round Draft pick Brennen Davis, an outfielder, and second-round compensatory selection Paul Richan, a right-handed pitcher.

Draft Tracker: Every Cubs pick

The Cubs were expected to sign first-round pick Nico Hoerner of Stanford this week. The shortstop was busy with final exams last week.

Besides Davis and Richan, the Cubs have signed eight other selections, including outfielder D.J. Artis (seventh round), right-hander Riley McCauley (14th), right-hander Carlos Vega (21st), outfielder Jamie Galazin (22nd), right-hander Blake Whitney (24th), outfielder Drew Wharton (30th), infielder Clayton Daniel (31st) and left-hander Jack Patterson (32nd).

Davis, 18, batted .444 with a .593 on-base percentage, .761 slugging mark and 13 stolen bases in 23 games in his senior season at Basha (Ariz.) High School. Richan, 21, struck out 101 batters in 89 2/3 innings while walking 13 in his 2018 junior season at the University of San Diego.