Cubs execute roster moves before final series of 2021
The Cubs made a few roster moves Friday, ahead of the final series of the 2021 season in St. Louis.
Nico Hoerner was placed on the injured list with right oblique tightness, though that move is merely procedural. The Cubs indicated earlier in the week that they were shutting down the young infielder after hamstring and oblique injuries have hampered his season.
Cory Abbott was recalled from Iowa to take Hoerner’s place on the roster and the right-hander will start Friday night’s game against the Cardinals.
Hoerner will finish the season with a .302 average, .382 on-base percentage and .751 OPS in 44 games. He flashed good patience (17 walks) and a high-contact approach (only 25 strikeouts) over 170 plate appearances while also racking up 1.1 WAR according to Baseball Reference’s metric.
Abbott, 26, will be making his 7th appearance with the big-league club this season and his first start. He last pitched in the majors on July 28 against the Reds at Wrigley Field, throwing an inning in relief.
In 19 starts with Triple-A Iowa, Abbott was 5-6 with a 5.91 ERA and struck out a whopping 130 batters in 96 innings.
The Cubs also placed David Bote and Nick Martini on the IL Friday, as the veterans join Patrick Wisdom and Austin Romine among players to hit the shelf with no injury designation this week amid the ongoing pandemic.
“Our radar is up and it’s been that way,” manager David Ross said. “When you have one [test] pop positive, you have something that continues to linger over your head. You hold your breath and there can be nothing come of it and there’s what we’re seeing happen — kind of a slow drip. We’re hoping we can get through this season healthy and still continue to perform and finish this thing out in a challenging time.”
Bote began the 2021 campaign by beating out Hoerner for the starting second base gig. His season was derailed at points by a pair of freak injuries — a shoulder separation in May and a sprained ankle in August when he stepped on a batting practice ball on Chicago’s South Side.
His final batting line reads as: .199/.276/.330 (.606 OPS) with 8 homers, 35 RBI and 32 runs scored in 97 games.
Martini’s season ends after 25 games in which he hit .270 with a .356 OBP. The Crystal Lake, Ill., native tallied a 4-hit game in Pittsburgh this week and also drew 3 walks the following night.
Infielder Tyler Ladendorf and outfielder Johneshwy Fargas were recalled from Iowa to replace Bote and Martini on the roster.
Fargas, 26, was with the big-league club earlier this season after the flurry of moves at the trade deadline. He hit .269 with a .642 OPS in 13 games with the Cubs before he was designated for assignment in late August. He cleared waivers and was sent to Triple-A Iowa, where he has played for the last few weeks.
Ladendorf, 33, signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs in May. The Park Ridge, Ill., native played the 2020 season with the Chicago Dogs in Rosemont. He hit .241 with a .721 OPS in 59 games with Triple-A Iowa this season.