Cubs pitcher Keegan Thompson willing to keep proving himself

Keegan Thompson still believes he has a few things to prove even after throwing 1041/3 innings in his first full major league season.

“I think getting back and (pitching) a couple more outings will give me innings toward next year,” Thompson said Sunday, two days after throwing 21/3 innings in a minor league rehab assignment for Triple-A Iowa. “The more innings I can get, the better for that purpose and longevity and build innings up.”

Thompson, who has made 25 appearances (17 starts) for the Cubs, is scheduled to meet with manager David Ross, pitching coach Tommy Hottovy and medical staff members to plan a course for the final two weeks.

“He’ll be back in there soon,” said Ross, who declined to reveal details.

Thompson, who currently is on the 15-day injured list due to low back stiffness, admitted to feeling anxious after pitching for the first time since Aug. 19 but stressed he feels fine.

Thompson struck out four and allowed a home run to Kramer Robertson in his 46-pitch outing.

“So far, everything feels great,” Thompson said.

Hope for Hoerner

Nico Hoerner, like Thompson, has nothing left to prove to the Cubs’ staff. But the Cubs’ shortstop wants to return, especially after his right triceps felt fine after playing catch from a distance of 90 feet for the first time since suffering a strain Sept. 11.

“That’s where my head is at,” Hoerner said after an array of tests. “If there’s an opportunity to be healthy and on the field, playing Major League Baseball, I’ll do that.”

Hoerner has played 125 games this season, a remarkable improvement after being saddled with hamstring and oblique ailments that limited him to 44 games last season.

“I have peace of mind in mypreparation and everything I do,” said Hoerner, who hopes to test his arm from throwing from a longer range soon.

This and that

Shortstop Nick Madrigal (right groin strain) and catcher Willson Contreras (left ankle sprain) performed running and strength work before the game. Madrigal said he will accompany the team on its seven-game trip to Miami and Pittsburgh. …Triple-A Iowa first baseman Frank Schwindel cleared release waivers and was giving his unconditional release. … Contreras was honored as recipient of the Cubs’ Heart and Hustle Award as “an active player who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.”

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