The Cubs will play five games in three days against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. The teams will play a pair of seven-inning doubleheaders Monday and Wednesday, with a single nine-inning contest on the schedule Tuesday. The teams will be allowed to carry 29 players for the doubleheaders instead of 28.
Manager David Ross didn't name his starting rotation for the whirlwind yet but did reel off a list of names who could get a start or a bigger role -- right-hander Colin Rea, right-hander Adbert Alzolay, right-hander Tyson Miller and left-hander Justin Steele. Rea is presently on the Cubs' 28-man roster, while the other three are at the team's alternate camp in South Bend.
"We have a number of guys we will look at," manager David Ross said. "I don't want to put myself in a box by saying who we will use. Justin Steele and Tyson Miller have some length. They are there, and we have Colin Rea with us who could get stretched out. Rex Brothers just got back there and can give us multiple innings. Guys on the roster factor in. Again with games coming up here, I don't want to get into that box. Adbert Alzolay is a potential starter down there. The games leading up to that series will dictate how we will play it."
Left-hander Jose Quintana won't be an option to pitch early next week as he continues to rehab from left thumb surgery that he had in early July.
"Q is scheduled for a four-inning (simulated) game Sunday," Ross said. "He still is a little bit away. We will get a better feel after that. Talking to him, I didn't get the sense he is quite ready yet. Rushing a guy like that who is so important to us doesn't make a lot of sense."
The Cubs' scheduling nightmare is because the Cardinals are squeezing in any many games as possible after being hit with a coronavirus outbreak. The Cardinals sit at just 2-3 and haven't played since July 29, but they're scheduled to return to action at the White Sox on Saturday. The Cubs and Cardinals had a three-game series in St. Louis last weekend get postponed.
The league office did contact the Cubs about the hectic schedule and five-games-in-three-days idea. The Cardinals will be the home team in the second game of each doubleheader.
"They (MLB ) asked our opinion," Ross said. "But they told us this was the option and the only option. I said, 'Cool let's get going and play as many games as we possibly can. We are excited to play baseball.' It's not ideal, but as we know there are a lot of things not ideal this year."
Ross kept a positive outlook about the situation.
"We want to beat everybody," Ross said. "We don't care what jersey is being worn on the other side. We want to win them all. We can look at it as a lot of pitchers being used or we get an opportunity to see some other guys pitch. We get to battle for seven innings, and we do have an off day after that (next Thursday). It gives us a little bit of breathing room. We will do the best we can and go out and compete hard."