Mills could work in either a bullpen or starting role this season, Maddie Lee of NBC Sports Chicago reports.
Mills made 11 starts last season and even threw a no-hitter, but manager David Ross said the righty isn't a lock for the rotation in 2021. "He'll pitch big innings for us, in maybe a bullpen role, maybe a starter role," Ross said. "Who knows?" Chicago's rotation will look a lot different this year with Yu Darvish, Jon Lester and Jose Quintana all gone, and Jake Arrieta, Zach Davies and Trevor Williams now in town. That leaves a lot of uncertainty behind ace Kyle Hendricks, but Mills likely pitched well enough in 2020 (4.48 ERA and 1.16 WHIP) to earn a rotation spot out of spring training.
Mills (5-5) allowed four runs on eight hits across 3.2 innings to take the loss Thursday against the Pirates. He walked one and struck out two.
Mills was hit hard in his last scheduled regular-season start and served up three home runs in a game for the second time this year. The righty turned in a no-hitter Sept. 13 and had a 3.93 ERA at that point, but since then, he's allowed eight runs in 9.2 innings to raise his ERA to 4.48. Mills is an option to start during the Cubs' upcoming first-round playoff series, though it seems like the team will roll with Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish and then Jon Lester if needed.
Mills (5-4) allowed four runs on six hits across six innings to take the loss Saturday against the Twins. He walked one and struck out seven.
Mills had tossed 15 scoreless innings in his last two starts, including a no-hitter in his most recent outing Sunday, but Minnesota got to him quickly with an Eddie Rosario solo home run in the first inning. The righty was mostly solid from there, though he allowed an RBI single to Rosario in the sixth and then got chased in the seventh when he gave up a home run and a double to start the frame. Mills saw his ERA creep up to 4.14, and he'll look to return to his dominant form in a softer matchup against Pittsburgh in his next scheduled start Thursday.
Mills (5-3) allowed three walks and no hits while striking out five across nine scoreless innings to earn the win in Sunday's 12-0 victory over the Brewers.
Mills needed 114 pitches to record 27 outs in the no-hitter. He wasn't overpowering but managed to consistently get ahead of hitters and worked efficiently. After a bit of a tough stretch in the middle of the season, Mills has now thrown 15 consecutive scoreless innings in the span of two starts. With this performance, he maintains a 3.93 ERA across 52.2 innings for the season. He'll look to keep his strong form going in his next outing, which will likely come next weekend against the Twins.
Mills (4-3) allowed four hits and three walks over six scoreless innings in a win over the Reds on Tuesday. He struck out six.
The Reds knocked Mills around for three homers in as many innings Aug. 29, but the righty got his revenge Tuesday to move back above .500 for the season. Mills is a finesse pitcher, averaging just 90 mph with his fastball, with limited swing-and-miss to his game. He's putting himself on the map as a streaming option, although he should still be viewed as one with a fair amount of downside against tougher offenses. Mills draws the Brewers on the road this weekend.
Mills (3-3) allowed four runs on seven hits across five innings to take the loss Thursday against the Pirates. He walked one and struck out two.
Mills has been trending in the wrong direction lately after a strong start to the season. Over his past five starts, the righty has allowed 21 earned runs in 24.2 innings, and his ERA has climbed to 5.50. However, with Jose Quintana (lat) and Tyler Chatwood (forearm) both recently landing on the 10-day injured list, Mills should be able to stick in the rotation in the short term. He lines up to take the hill again Tuesday against the Reds.
Mills will start Thursday's game on the road against the Pirates, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Mills' scheduled start was moved up one day, but he'll still be starting on normal rest since the Cubs had a day off Monday. The right-hander has been roughed up in his past four starts as he's posted a 7.78 ERA and 17:5 K:BB over 19.2 innings during that time.
Mills pitched three innings against the Reds in Game 2 of a doubleheader Saturday, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two. He did not factor in the decision.
Mills pitched well in his previous outing but couldn't carry over the momentum into Saturday. He lasted a season-low three innings as Cincinnati went deep for three of its four hits against him. The long ball hasn't been particularly problematic for Mills this season -- Saturday's appearance was the first time a club has slugged more than one homer against him -- and he entered the game with a better-than-average 1.03 HR/9 mark for his career. Mills will try to get back to keeping the ball in the park when he faces St. Louis on Friday.
Mills (3-2) earned the win Monday by allowing three earned runs over seven innings against the Tigers. He gave up seven hits and a walk, while striking out seven.
Mills struggled in his last two starts, giving up 10 earned runs in just 9.2 innings, but he righted the ship against a subpar Detroit lineup. Jose Quintana (thumb) is slated to be activated from the injured list Tuesday, but the team has said he'll head to the bullpen initially. That should keep Mills in the rotation for now, and he's penciled in to pitch one half of Saturday's doubleheader against the Reds. However, Quintana figures to work his way back into the rotation soon enough, which would push Mills into a long relief role.
Mills (2-2) took the loss in Game 1 of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Cardinals. He allowed six earned runs on seven hits and two walks across 3.2 innings, while striking out just one.
St. Louis jumped on Mills right away, with Matt Carpenter hitting a first inning grand slam before any outs were recorded. Mills has now lost his last two starts, and he's allowed 10 earned runs across 9.2 innings in that time. He started the season much stronger, allowing just two earned runs in his first 13 innings while going 2-0. Mills is slated to start again Monday against Detroit, but he could be squeezed from the rotation when Jose Quintana (thumb) and Tyler Chatwood (back) are both healthy.
Mills will start Game 1 of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Cardinals, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
The 28-year-old will draw a tough matchup, as ace Jack Flaherty will be taking the hill for the Cardinals. Mills has been effective through his first three starts of the season with a 2.84 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 14:6 K:BB over 19 innings.
Mills (2-1) took the loss Friday, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk over six innings as the Cubs fell 4-3 to the Brewers. He struck out seven.
The right-hander tossed four scoreless frames to begin the game and still took a 3-1 lead into the sixth, but with two runners on base and Christian Yelich at bat, Mills threw a changeup that caught the fat part of the plate and wound up in the seats in right-center field. On the bright side, while his quality start streak ended at two, the seven strikeouts were a season high. Mills will take a 2.84 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 14:6 K:BB through 19 innings into his next outing, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 21 at home against the White Sox.
Mills will start Friday against the Brewers after Tyler Chatwood was scratched with mid-back tightness, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Mills had been scheduled to start Saturday, though he should be more than ready to go, as his previous outing came back on Aug. 3 against the Royals. He's allowed just two runs on five hits in 13 innings thus far this season, though his 7:5 K:BB is unremarkable.
Mills (2-0) pitched seven scoreless innings to pick up the win against the Royals on Monday. He allowed three hits and three walks while striking out four.
Mills has pitched well in his two starts for the Cubs, allowing just two earned runs across 13 innings and striking out seven. The righty could get squeezed out of the rotation whenever Jose Quintana (thumb) is able to return, though at this point, Mills is making a strong case to stick as a starter. He's currently slated to start again Saturday against the Cardinals on the road.
Mills (1-0) allowed two earned runs on two hits and two walks while striking out three across six innings to earn the win Tuesday against the Reds.
Mills worked very efficiently, requiring only 77 pitches to complete his evening of work. The only damage against him came on a two-run home run by Nick Castellanos in the fourth inning. While Mills did not generate a lot of strikeouts, he did force groundball outs, helping him limit the damage when contact was made. While Jose Quintana (thumb) continues to ramp up, Mills should stick in the Cubs' rotation. His next start is currently projected for Sunday against the Pirates.
Manager David Ross said Mills will open the season as Chicago's fifth starter, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Mills will be tasked with filling in for the injured Jose Quintana (thumb) to start the season. The right-hander impressed in a swingman role for the Cubs in 2019, posting a 2.75 ERA and 42:11 K:BB across 36 innings (nine appearances, four starts).
Mills is well-positioned to break camp as Chicago's fifth starter after Jose Quintana underwent thumb surgery Thursday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Colin Rea and Adbert Alzolay are also in the mix to fill in for Quintana -- who is unlikely to be ready for the start of the season -- though Mills appears to be the frontrunner. The 28-year-old Mills excelled in a swingman role for the Cubs in 2019, posting a 2.75 ERA and 42:11 K:BB across nine appearances (36 innings), including four starts.
Mills could work as the Cubs' sixth starter when the regular season is able to begin, Scot Gregor of the Chicago Daily Herald reports.
Before play was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, it looked like Tyler Chatwood would get the fifth spot in the rotation, with Mills serving as a long reliever. However, a shortened season with expanded rosters is now the likely route for MLB, and that could mean teams like the Cubs turn to six-man rotations, at least until their top five pitchers stretch out their arms more. Mills started four times for Chicago in 2019 and would make sense as a sixth starter if the team goes in that direction.
Mills will likely serve as the Cubs' long reliever when the regular season is able to begin, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Mills and Tyler Chatwood entered spring training as candidates for the team's fifth and final rotation spot, and Chatwood is the heavy favorite to win that job. That would shift Mills to long relief, though the role could hold more value this year than usual if the MLB calendar gets compacted and features more doubleheaders in an effort to squeeze in more games. In this scenario, bullpens will likely be used heavily, and someone like Mills could see a lot of action.
Mills added a slow curveball to his pitch mix last season and opposing batters hit just .143 against it, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Mills started working on a slow curve while with Triple-A Iowa last season. The pitch averaged just 67.6 mph, which was the lowest average velocity among pitchers who threw at least 50 curveballs in 2019. Because of his success with the pitch, expect Mills to use it heavily again in 2020. The righty is fighting for the Cubs' fifth rotation spot this spring, though he could end up as the team's long reliever.
|Last 7 Games|
|09/24||@ PIT||L 0-7||1||3.2||8||4||1||2|
|09/19||vs MIN||L 1-8||1||6.0||6||4||1||7|
|09/13||@ MIL||W 12-0||1||9.0||0||0||3||5|
|09/08||vs CIN||W 3-0||1||6.0||4||0||3||6|
|09/03||@ PIT||L 2-6||1||5.0||7||4||1||2|
|08/29||@ CIN||L 5-6||3.0||4||4||1||2|
|08/24||@ DET||W 9-3||1||7.0||7||3||1||7|
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2012||R-Idaho Falls Chukars||50.2||17||7||0||1||4||3||50||17||58||4.66||1.494|
|2014||R-Idaho Falls Chukars||19.1||7||6||0||2||2||0||14||4||20||4.71||1.256|
|2015||AFA-Wilmington Blue Rock||113.1||21||21||1||7||7||0||111||14||122||3.02||1.203|
|2016||AAA-Omaha Storm Chasers||58.0||12||11||0||4||3||0||54||19||62||4.19||1.397|
|2016||AA-Northwest Arkansas N||67.2||12||12||0||1||2||0||68||12||57||2.41||1.027|
|2017||AFA-Myrtle Beach Pelican||9.0||2||2||0||0||1||0||7||1||8||3.00||1.000|