Nico Hoerner’s right biceps mild strain will sideline him for at least a couple more days, and it’s uncertain when the Cubs’ standout shortstop will return.
“It’s a little worse off than we thought,” admitted manager David Ross, who said an MRI indicated the injury needed to be treated with more caution.
Hoerner hasn’t played since injuring the arm while diving and making a quick throw Sept. 11 against the Giants. But with a .291 batting average, an 86.8 percent contact rate and 11 Defensive Runs Saved, there’s nothing left for Hoerner to prove to the Cubs this season.
As of now, the Cubs haven’t publicly hinted the thought of shutting down Hoerner, who indicated to Ross that he’d like to return this season.
“I would say we’re going to try to work on him to get back,” Ross said. “He wants to get back.”
Timely insurance policy
In the event the Cubs don’t re-sign Willson Contreras this winter, they appear to have no worse than a capable part-time replacement in Yan Gomes.
With Gomes behind the plate, starters Marcus Stroman (3.06), Justin Steele (1.36), Keegan Thompson (3.42), Kyle Hendricks (2.83) and Adrian Sampson (2.67) have an ERA lower than their season mark.
Gomes, 35, was signed to two-year, $13 million contract with a 2024 club option before the December 2 lockout.
“I think he just has that veteran presence back there, and guys trust him,” pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. “He can relate to guys. He also knows the right time to challenge them a little bit.”
Gomes has caught the likes of Corey Kluber, Andrew Miller, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas prior to joining the Cubs.
“His level of communication with the player and the staff, being on the same page, he really takes pride in covering the whole part of every part of the game and communicating it,” Hottovy said. “He does a great job of that. When he gets guys to trust it’s going to work, he has the ability to influence them in a lot of ways.”
This and that
The contract of infielder Esteban Quiroz was selected from Triple-A Iowa. Quiroz appeared as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning but struck out. …Right fielder Seiya Suzuki was placed on the paternity leave list to attend to the birth of his first child in his native Japan. … Left-hander Sean Newcomb and first baseman Frank Schwindel were designated for assignment.