As rumors swirl, Cubs shake up roster and give Bryzzo a day off
David Ross has had Thursday “earmarked” for a few days as the perfect off-day for first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
“It’ll be his first off day after the All-Star break,” Ross said. “So, I think that was just normal.”
With a long game (3 hours, 37-minute game time) Wednesday night and a day game the next day, Ross wanted to make sure he gave Kris Bryant some rest, too.
So, as of first pitch Thursday against the Reds, “Bryzzo” was still a part of the Chicago Cubs and Ross was giving them some time off ahead of a road trip to Washington.
“They’re available off the bench,” Ross said. “Everybody can hate me or blame me, but … we gotta take care of these guys. Nobody’s been traded yet. Let’s just keep our heads about us and get ready to win a ball game.”
Still, there were plenty of transactions Thursday morning.
They placed Nico Hoerner on the 10-day IL and selected the contract of RHP Jake Jewell from Triple-A Iowa. They recalled infielder Sergio Alcántara and optioned Cory Abbott to Iowa. Kohl Stewart was placed on the 60-day IL with right elbow inflammation, clearing a 40-man roster spot for Jewell. Additionally, the team placed Dillon Maples on the 10-day IL with a blister and recalled RHP Trevor Megill from Iowa.
And that was all before the Cubs announced they were trading reliever Ryan Tepera to the White Sox in the 2nd inning of Thursday’s game against the Reds.
But midway through the Cubs’ series finale against the Reds, Bryant and Rizzo still had the Cubs’ logo on their left chest.
“I think they know the situation if it could be their last home game and all that,” Ross said. “Everybody’s fine with what’s going on. They need a break. Shoot, they’ve been pushing it hard.”
He pushed the break message to the media, too.
“Stay off Twitter,” Ross joked as he left his daily media scrum.
It was a tough night and morning for Hoerner. After feeling discomfort on a check swing in the 7th inning of Wednesday’s loss to the Reds, Hoerner was placed on the 10-day IL Thursday morning.
It’s his third stint this season on the IL.
“The look on his face, very disappointed,” Ross said. “You just hate it for him. He’s dealt with a lot of things and a lot of adversity.”
How long Hoerner will be out is an unknown at this point. He was having tests done on the injury Thursday before an assessment was made.
Javy Báez had been out of the Cubs’ starting lineup since Monday after sustaining a bruised left heel in Sunday’s game against the Diamondbacks. He had the walk-off hit in Monday’s win over the Reds off Amir Garrett but had not played in a game otherwise.
He returned to the starting lineup Thursday against the Reds, playing shortstop.
“I wouldn’t say he’s 100% but he’s feeling much better and wanting to be in there today,” Ross said prior to the game. “We’ll push him a little bit towards playing. He’s probably 85-90%.”