Cubs infielder Nico Hoerner was placed on the injured list July 29. He suffered an oblique injury the previous night on this swing [VIDEO].
You can see Hoerner turn and grimace after that swing, on which he struck out. The Cubs have been cautious with him returning from this injury. He played one game on a rehab assignment August 22 for Advanced-A South Bend, then four more for Triple-A Iowa September 12-17.
Today, Nico is being activated from the injured list after missing 39 games, and there’s another move as well:
Cubs moves:— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 19, 2021
• Nico Hoerner activated from IL, will start today at SS.
• Keegan Thompson activated from IL, and will start today.
• Dillon Maples DFA'd.
• Nick Martini optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
Hoerner also missed 36 games from late May through the end of June after suffering a hamstring injury in Pittsburgh.
Overall this year in 39 MLB games, Nico is hitting .313/.388/388 (42-for-134) with 10 doubles. He hasn’t homered this year; in fact, he hasn’t hit a home run at all, either in the major or minor leagues, over his last 362 plate appearances. His last homer came September 21, 2019 in St. Louis. You’d like to see him develop at least a little bit of power.
Anyway, he’s back for the final 16 games of the season and it’ll be interesting to see how David Ross uses him.
And, the Cubs have finally decided Dillon Maples isn’t for them. It’s too bad he could never harness his control and command; when he was on he had a devastating slider. He posted a 2.59 ERA and 1.277 WHIP in 28 appearances with the Cubs this year, which sounds good, but not when you have a walk rate of 7.2 per nine innings.
For the time being, the DFA of Maples leaves an open spot on the 40-man roster.