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Cubs place lefty infielder on the IL, recall righty reliever

12 months agoAndy Martinez

The Cubs will be without a left-handed bat for the foreseeable future.

The team announced Wednesday afternoon that they placed infielder Edwin Ríos on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 4 with a left groin strain. In a corresponding move, the Cubs recalled righty reliever Michael Rucker from Triple-A Iowa. The move brings the Cubs to 13 pitchers on their roster.

Ríos was signed a major-league deal in February, made the Opening Day roster, but has struggled to find playing time; he has just 34 plate appearances across 18 games and has 2 hits — a double and a home run — with a slash line of .071/.235/.214. He came up through the Dodgers system where he hit 105 home runs in the minors with a .290/.348/.533 slash line. Ríos debuted in 2019 with the Dodgers and has 21 career home runs in the majors with a .758 OPS.

When they signed Ríos, the Cubs were hoping to add another left-handed option off the bench with pop but has struggled to provide that.

In recalling Rucker, the Cubs bring back another right-handed option into their struggling bullpen. The Cubs’ bullpen ranks 25th in baseball in ERA (4.59), WHIP (1.39) and batting average against (.247). The Cubs will hope they can have Rucker performing like he did at the beginning of the year — in his first 16 outings, he had a 2.45 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 18 strikeouts in 14.2 innings.

He struggled in his last four appearances, allowing 10 earned runs in 8.1 innings. He was optioned on May 30 after the team recalled Hayden Wesneski. In those four appearances he was used primarily as a long-relief option in blowout games and manager David Ross said they wanted to give Rucker a “little bit of a break” after his usage.

Rucker made one appearance in Iowa, last Friday where he went 2.1 scoreless innings with a walk, hit and a strikeout.

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