Mills (1-0) pitched three scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and striking out two to pick up the win over the Mets on Wednesday. The Cubs went to the bullpen early after Zach Davies was pinch hit for in the bottom of the fourth, so Mills was called upon to eat up some innings. The 29-year-old was nearly perfect, as he faced the minimum nine batters through three innings after erasing a leadoff single by Francisco Lindor in the seventh with a 4-5-3 double play. It was encouraging to see Mills bounce back from back-to-back troublesome outings prior to this one. He'll continue to hold down a long-relief role out of the bullpen and shouldn't need that much rest after throwing only 27 pitches Wednesday.
Mills covered an inning in relief during Sunday's 13-4 loss to Atlanta, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out one. After making a four-inning start against the Brewers on Tuesday, Mills looked like he could be a candidate to make his second start of the week in the series finale with Atlanta. However, with Kyle Hendricks making enough progress in his recovery from an illness to take the hill Sunday, Mills shifted to the bullpen. He ended up being put to work early, as Hendricks lasted just four innings after giving up seven runs. Mills didn't fare much better, and he'll likely continue to stick in a long-relief role with Chicago expected to call up Adbert Alzolay from the alternate site when a fifth starter is next needed Saturday versus the Brewers.
It's unclear if Kyle Hendricks (illness) will be ready for his next turn through the rotation Sunday, Russell Dorsey of the Chicago Sun-Times reports, which could give Mills another start. Mills filled in for Hendricks on Tuesday and pitched pretty well, allowing just two runs on two hits across four innings in a game the Cubs went on to win. If Mills does get at least one more start Sunday against Atlanta, he might be able to work a bit deeper into the game after stretching out a bit Tuesday with 41 pitches. Adbert Alzolay, who was optioned to the team's alternate training site Wednesday, is also an option to rejoin the rotation if Hendricks is forced to miss more time.
Mills allowed two runs on two hits across four innings and did not factor into the decision in Tuesday's win over the Brewers. Mills got the spot start when Kyle Hendricks (illness) was scratched, and the former performed admirably, with a two-run home run by Luis Urias the only blemish during his four innings of work. This is what Mills can give the Cubs, as he made 11 starts a season ago, and he could conceivably force his way into the rotation at the expense of Adbert Alzolay at some point. For now, Mills' fantasy value is capped by his bullpen role, though he may vulture a few wins or saves as a long reliever.
Mills will start Tuesday's game against the Brewers. Kyle Hendricks was poised to start Tuesday's contest but was a late scratch since he's not feeling well. Mills has four appearances out of the bullpen this season and covered 2.1 innings during his last appearance Saturday, so he's unlikely to work deep into the contest.
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