Cubs recall pitcher to make 1st MLB start, option reliever


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Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports
Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today recalled right-handed pitcher Alec Mills from Triple-A Iowa. Right-handed pitcher Dillon Maples has been optioned to Triple-A.

Mills will make his first major league start for the Cubs this afternoon when they continue their four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.

The 26-year-old Mills joins the Cubs for the second time this season, as he made one relief appearance with the club on July 27 at St. Louis, tossing two perfect frames. He has gone 5-12 with a 4.84 ERA (67 ER/124.2 IP) in 23 starts with Iowa this season. Mills this year returned to the big leagues for the first time since 2016, when he made three relief appearances for the Kansas City Royals, posting no record and a 13.50 ERA (5 ER/3.1 IP). Mills was acquired by the Cubs on February 8, 2017 from the Royals for minor league outfielder Donnie Dewees.

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Mills was originally selected by the Royals in the 22nd round of the 2012 Draft out of the University of Tennessee at Martin. He was limited to seven minor league starts due to injury last year across three levels of the Cubs system, going 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA (8 ER/28.0 IP).

In 2016, his last full campaign, Mills combined to go 5-5 with a 3.22 ERA (45 ER/125.2 IP) in 24 appearances, all but one as a starter, between Kansas City’s Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha affiliates. He went 1-2 with a 2.39 ERA (18 ER/67.2 IP) in 12 starts in Double-A to earn Texas League mid-season All-Star honors and a promotion to Triple-A, where he went 4-3 with a 4.19 ERA (27 ER/58.0 IP) in 12 appearances, 11 as a starter.

The Clarksville, Tenn., native is 26-35 with nine saves and a 3.42 ERA (207 ER/545.0 IP) in seven minor league campaigns in the Royals and Cubs organizations.

Maples, 27, has gone 2-3 with nine saves and a 2.41 ERA (10 ER/37.1 IP) in 39 relief outings with Iowa this season. With the Cubs, he has no record and a 13.50 ERA (5 ER/3.1 IP) in three relief outings.

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