The Cubs got one infielder back from the injured list and replaced him with another.
First baseman Frank Schwindel returned from the 10-day IL on Thursday after nearly four weeks out with a strained lower back. In turn, middle infielder Andrelton Simmons landed on the 10-day IL with a right shoulder strain.
“To reintegrate [Schwindel] right before the break made a lot of sense for us,” manager David Ross said, “and he feels 100%, was able to play multiple games and get plenty of at-bats [in his rehab assignment.]”
Schwindel was available off the bench Thursday after playing the past two days in Triple-A Iowa. Schwindel totaled five rehab games and logged two hits.
“Swing feels good,” Schwindel said. “I thought I put together some good at-bats down there, I’m ready to get back in there. I’m excited.”
Simmons started the season on the IL with right shoulder inflammation, an issue that limited him in spring training. And Ross said Simmons re-aggravated his shoulder turning a double play on Sunday in Los Angeles. The Cubs backdated the IL move to Monday.
“I think he was trying to make up some time there,” Ross said of the play, which shortstop Nico Hoerner started on a chopper in the hole, “and it was the first time probably in a while he’s had to really let it eat. That’s where he felt it.”
Madrigal’s next steps
The latest chapter of second baseman Nick Madrigal’s injury-filled season has been a minor setback on his way back from a groin strain.
“It’s definitely been a challenge. It’s been frustrating at times. It’s been a lot of different emotions, but I’m staying positive. A lot of games left. I’m excited to get back out there and stay the course.”
After leaving a rehab game on Sunday with groin tightness, Madrigal has been working out in Chicago before he’s scheduled to head to Arizona for a couple days during the All-Star break next week.
“The biggest thing during the All-Star break was they didn’t want me shutting down,” Madrigal said, “they wanted me to keep ramping up so I’m able to get back with the team sooner.”
He added that he’d likey need a couple more rehab games after the break before returning from the 10-day IL.
“In the past I’ve played through those kinds of things, and it’s turned into a huge problem,” Madrigal said. “So, just trying to get ahead of it.”
Cubs stork has been busy
Just two days after Cubs lefty Justin Steele and his fiancee celebrated the birth of their first child, veteran southpaw Drew Smyly and his wife welcomed their third child into the world. Summer Smyly was born Wednesday night.
Smyly’s advice to Steele was: “They grow fast. Soak it in.”