Ecstatic about promotion, Frankoff debuts

June 9th, 2017

CHICAGO -- While Seth Frankoff was eager to make his Major League debut after being summoned to the Cubs on Thursday -- seven years to the day he was drafted, no less -- his wife wasn't quite ready for him to throw a pitch.

"Seth just got there so I'm praying he doesn't pitch tonight!" tweeted Bess Frankoff, who was still about 100 miles away when her husband arrived at Wrigley Field on Thursday. "I can't miss it!!!"

Slated to start on Thursday for Triple-A Iowa in Des Moines, Frankoff got a call around 1:45 p.m. CT telling him he had been called up to the Cubs. He didn't have much time to react to the news, as he was told he had to get to the field and get his stuff together as quickly as possible.

As it happened, Frankoff got the last seat on the plane. He arrived at Wrigley Field in the seventh inning, though much to his wife's relief, he was never called upon.

On Friday, it was completely different story, as Frankoff was summoned by manager Joe Maddon in the Cubs' eventual 5-3 loss to the Rockies to begin the fifth inning of a 2-2 game. Frankoff's debut didn't get off to the smoothest start, as he gave up a leadoff infield single to Rox pitcher Chris Rusin before allowing a two-run homer to Charlie Blackmon. He settled down after that, though, pitching two innings and allowing just the two runs while striking out two in the losing effort.

"We misplay a slow roller by their pitcher, and then all of a sudden that turns into a home run," Maddon said. "Actually Frankoff didn't do a bad job. It's a slow roller and then a homer that after that he was fine."

Maddon envisions Frankoff filling in -- at least in the short term -- in the same long-relief role he was used on Friday. That job was previously held by Mike Montgomery, who started Friday's game after was placed on the 10-day disabled because of inflammation in a tendon on the back of the middle finger on his throwing hand.

"We liked him in Spring Training. I really watched him closely in camp. He's got a very good arm," Maddon said.

Frankoff appeared in 11 games this season for Iowa, starting nine while posting a 2.77 ERA. He's averaged more than five innings per outing, making him a prime candidate for the long-relief role.

Before the game, Frankoff said he was excited to pitch, especially in front of his parents, brother and wife. There's also one other thing he said he's looking forward to: Having grown up a die-hard Red Sox fan, Frankoff recalled the team's 2004 World Series run that snapped an 86-year championship drought. As luck would have it, the general manager of that team is also the Cubs' current president of baseball operations -- Theo Epstein.

"That team was very special," Frankoff said. "I'd certainly look forward to talking to him about those teams, because they were a big part of my childhood."