Cubs hurler Trevor Williams will be out indefinitely after undergoing an emergency appendectomy, per Jared Wyllus of the Chicago Sun-Times. Williams was initially slated to start Monday’s game versus the Padres. It’s looking like Keegan Thompson will step in for a spot start.
The 26-year-old made his first career start in the second game of a doubleheader against the vaunted Dodgers back on May the 4th, tossing 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Thompson has yet to surrender an earned run in his young career with 15 scoreless innings over his first nine appearances.
He’s done a tremendous job of keeping the ball on the ground so far with a 58.3 percent groundball rate, though that’s not a tendency he displayed as a minor leaguer.
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Despite a rash of injuries, the Cubs won 12 of 16 heading into the series with San Diego.
Williams, Jason Heyward, Jake Marisnick, Nico Hoerner, Matt Duffy, Alec Mills and Justin Steele have gone on the IL since May 10.
“You want to cry uncle sometimes,” manager David Ross said with a chuckle. “But it is what we’re dealing with and guys have done a nice job of coming up and helping us win ballgames.”
As for Williams, the situation might seem more dire than it is, given the “indefinite” designation of his injury status. Likely, this is simply a matter of wait-and-see, assuming there were no further complications to the surgery.
They will need to replace his production in the meantime. Williams hasn’t exactly been a revelation since joining the rotation from the Pirates – 5.36 ERA/4.76 FIP while averaging less than five innings per start – but if nothing else, he’s striking out batters at a career-best rate of 24.9 percent. He’s also walking more batters than usual with a 10.2 percent walk rate.
To his credit, Williams has permitted two or less earned runs in seven of his ten starts, and he’s coming off his best outing of the year, a six-inning, one-earned-run effort against his former club in Pittsburgh.
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