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Cubs consider pitching options for playoff push as Tyler Chatwood suffers another setback and Jose Quintana works toward a return

By Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Baseball

CHICAGO - Alec Mills celebrated his no-hitter Sunday night with Pequod's pizza with his wife, Paige, and son, Carter, before starting to return more than 320 congratulatory messages.

Mills and his Chicago Cubs teammates, though, have little time to bask in their achievements.

"The postseason is getting closer than we think," Mills said in a conference call Tuesday before the Cubs opened a two-game series with the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field. "At the same time, we've still got to get in and we've still got to get into a good spot."

With the new postseason format revealed Tuesday, the Cubs have plenty to consider as they try to secure the National League Central title and home-field advantage in the wild-card round.

There will be no days off during the best-of-five NL Division Series and best-of-seven NL Championship Series. So if the Cubs advance past the best-of-three wild-card series, starting pitching depth would be a major consideration - especially if the NLDS lasts five games.

"No days off is going to test everyone's health," manager David Ross said.

 

One option has been all but eliminated. Tyler Chatwood, who hasn't pitched since Aug. 30, experienced a setback in his return from a right forearm strain and has been shut down.

"(The elbow) didn't feel good," Ross said. "I'm comfortable making that statement. I don't want to make a statement that his season is over. But there's a lot of caution and the health of the player, his future."

Chatwood, who can become a free agent after this season, made five starts.

Jose Quintana, whose season debut was delayed because of a cut nerve in his left thumb, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Wednesday with the anticipation he can pitch a simulated game by the end of the week.

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