When Jason Heyward scraped some skin off his left hand diving for a ball June 18 in Pittsburgh, it didn’t seem serious enough that he’d have to miss more than two weeks’ time.
The skin, though, healed slowly and he couldn’t grip a bat or throw a baseball for a while. After a rehab assignment with the South Bend Cubs, Heyward is heading back to Chicago:
#Cubs activate Heyward, Leathersich added, Candelario and Pena to Iowa— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) July 4, 2017
The Cubs have missed Heyward’s defense in right field and he is having a good offensive season, a significant improvement from last year. Over the last 12 games before the injury, he was hitting .273/.319/.409 (12-for-44) with three doubles and a home run. We’d take that kind of production all year, I’d think.
Jack Leathersich has a 5.26 ERA at Iowa, but has struck out 42 in 25 Innings. The Rays have left-handed power so it appears the Cubs wanted a lefty in the pen besides Brian Duensing, who has reverse splits this year.
Jeimer Candelario was just 2-for-12 in his most recent callup, but that included his first major-league home run, hit off Joe Ross June 29 in Washington. He’ll certainly be back in September, if not before.
The activation of Heyward leaves Kyle Hendricks as the next significant Cub remaining on the disabled list. Hopefully, Hendricks returns soon after the All-Star break.