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Cubs roster move: Keegan Thompson recalled, Michael Rucker optioned

The Cubs have an old friend back in the major leagues.

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Keegan Thompson, who a year ago seemed Justin Steele’s equal as a starter/reliever, fell on hard times early this season and was optioned to Triple-A Iowa May 19.

He didn’t throw well on first reporting to Iowa, but his last four outings covering 8⅓ innings have been improved: 2.16 ERA, 0.840 WHIP, eight strikeouts.

And so, today the Cubs recalled Thompson from Iowa and sent Michael Rucker back to the Triple-A ballclub.

Rucker’s most recent recall was quite odd. He was recalled August 15 when the Cubs sent Caleb Kilian back to Iowa, but in the eight games the team has played since the 15th, he appeared just once — an inning’s worth of work in Wednesday’s 6-4 win in Detroit.

Thompson is in Pittsburgh and available for tonight’s game. In 15 appearances for the Cubs before he was sent to Iowa, Thompson posted a 4.22 ERA and 1.313 WHIP in 21⅓ innings. He was very good in April (1.80 ERA, 1.067 WHIP in 10 appearances) before an awful May (9.95 ERA, 1.895 WHIP in five games).

Hopefully, Thompson recovers that April feeling. As always, we await developments.

Today’s game preview will post at 4 p.m. CT.