Outfielder Nick Martini, right-hander Jason Adam and left-hander Brad Wieck were optioned to Class AAA Iowa in corresponding moves.
DETROIT – The Cubs activated starter Jake Arrieta (right thumb cut), infielder Nico Hoerner (left forearm strain) and Dan Winkler (right triceps tendinitis) from the 10-day injured list before Friday’s game against the Tigers. Outfielder Nick Martini, right-hander Jason Adam and left-hander Brad Wieck were optioned to Class AAA Iowa in corresponding moves.
“It’s nice,” manager David Ross said. “Each time you get your guys back, feeling healthy and back in the lineup, it’s nice. But you also appreciate the hard work that the guys that you send out give you. The effort they give you, it’s a mixed feeling from this seat. You’re happy to get those guys back, for sure. But it’s also tough conversations when you send guys down.”
Getting Hoerner back will be an extra boost for a Cubs lineup that has started to find its footing, ranking third in OPS as a club in May. The 24-year-old infielder has had a strong start slashing .389/.500/.556 with six doubles, eight walks, and three stolen bases in 11 games.
“It’s not ideal, but it really helped that the team was home for a couple of series against the Dodgers and Pirates,” Hoerner said. “Just makes a difference being able to stay in the flow of the season with the team even though I’m not playing, just still being in the dugout of the game.
“The timing of it all worked out well. The training staff was awesome. It stinks to miss time, but all things considered, [Ian] and I are both healthy and ready to play baseball.”
Heyward fightin’ the funk
As the Cubs have started to come out of their team-wide slump as the calendar has flipped from April to May, right fielder Jason Heyward is still searching to get himself going offensively.
During the 60-game season, the 31-year-old outfielder had arguably his best offensive season as a Cub, slashing 265/.392/.456 with a 131 wRC+. This year, Heyward has a .171/.246/.315 with three homers and a 58 wRC+.
“I think [Jason] is at a point where he may be chasing some hits a little bit,” Ross said. “Last year, I thought he had our most consistent at-bats among the group and right now, I think he’s just getting a little bit outside of what he does well, and I’ve talked to him about that.
“I feel like that he just at times is getting a little bit outside of what [he does well]. Swinging at the pitches that he doesn’t really do damage on. Trying to get him back to staying within himself and recognizing what other teams to do and instead of trying to hit that pitch just trying to lay off it a little more.”