NEW YORK – It won’t be the first appearance that he’s made in a Major League Baseball game, but it certainly will be a lot different than the one’s he’s had before.
That’s because Robert Stock has only been a reliever when stepping on the mound for a big league game, doing so with the Padres in 2018 and 2019, then the Red Sox in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
But that’s about to change tonight as he makes his Cubs’ debut.
The Cubs have called Stock up from Triple-A Iowa to make a spot start in the Cubs’ third of a four game set against the Mets at Citi Field on Wednesday evening.
This is the 53rd appearance in an MLB game for the pitchers, but it marks the first time he’ll do so as a starter. He’s taken the mound for a pair of starts for Triple-A Iowa since joining the Cubs on December 2, 2020 while also making seven relief appearances.
Stock made those starts in his last two apperances in Iowa on June 3rd and June 8th, going four innings in each outing with a combined three earned runs allowed with eight strikeouts compared to just one walk.
At the same time, Stock will make some unusual Cubs history thanks to his jersey number.
Stock will become the first player in Cubs’ history to wear the number 89 on the field. He wore No. 66 during his two seasons with the Padres and No. 79 during his one season in Boston.
It’s the fourth-highest number ever worn by a member of the Cubs, with Felix Heredia wearing No. 94 in 2001, Bill Voiselle wearing No. 96 in 1950, and both Todd Hundley (2001) and So Taguchi (2009) wearing No. 99.
Maybe it will bring Stock luck as he goes up against the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, who has been the best pitcher in the MLB so far this season. The starter has allowed just four earned runs in 64 innings, which gives him a 0.56 ERA, while striking out 103 batters with just eight walks.