(Photo credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports)
The Chicago Cubs activated All-Star right-hander Marcus Stroman from the 15-day injured list Friday.
Stroman hasn't pitched for the Cubs since July 31 due to hip and rib injuries.
Stroman was initially placed on the IL due to a right hip injury. He was set to return in mid-August before it was discovered he had fractured rib cartilage.
The Cubs said Stroman will initially pitch out of the bullpen until he builds up his pitch counts.
"I'm good to go," Stroman told reporters before Friday night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. "I'm excited. Like I said, I'm here. I can start, I come out of the bullpen. They can use me in whatever role they want. But I feel ready to compete and contribute, so that's kind of the mindset."
Chicago manager David Ross appreciated Stroman's willingness to embrace any role down the stretch.
"He's a competitor and wants to be out there," Ross said. "He wants to help us in any way, that's the kind of dude he is. He worked really hard to get back."
Stroman was named to the All-Star team for the second time in his career. He is 10-8 with a 3.85 ERA in 23 starts this season, his second with the Cubs.
Stroman had a 2.28 ERA in his first 16 starts before his season went downhill. He went 1-4 with a 9.00 ERA over his next seven starts.
Stroman struggled mightily in the final three starts, partially due to the hip issues. The 32-year-old allowed 17 runs and 22 hits in just 10 innings during the span before going on the IL.
The Cubs optioned right-hander Daniel Palencia to Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move.
Palencia, 23, is 5-2 with a 4.09 ERA in 21 relief appearances for Chicago.
The Cubs hold the second National League wild-card spot entering Friday's game. Arizona is one of three teams -- the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds are the others -- that entered the day in a virtual tie for third place with the Miami Marlins just a half-game back.
--Field Level Media