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Cubs notebook: Coghlan contributes after returning from DL

Chris Coghlan, right, celebrates with David Ross after Ross' home run during the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners Friday. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chris Coghlan doesn’t consider himself a patient person. So when the Cubs outfielder had to wait out returning from the disabled list, it wasn’t easy.

Coghlan, who has been out since July 3 with a strained rib cage, was recalled from Class AA Tennessee on Friday after playing five games as part of a minor-league rehab assignment. He immediately was inserted into the leadoff spot and delivered a two-out, two-run single in the second inning and scored two runs in the Cubs’ 12-1 win over the Mariners.

“I knew that was a big situation early in the game with two guys on to be able to put us out front, especially with Jonny [Lester] throwing,” Coghlan said. “I was grateful to come through.”

The Cubs optioned Tommy La Stella to Class AAA Iowa. The infielder, who was hitting .295, fell prey to a numbers game because he had options left.

Manager Joe Maddon said La Stella was upset with being sent down. He said it was a difficult conversation.

“[La Stella] shouldn’t take it well,” Maddon said. “Honestly, it’s an unusual moment we’re in right now where we have so many guys, and this is definitely an advocacy for a 27- or 28-man roster. These are hard decisions. Guys are not going to like them.”

Maddon said he’s always honest with players when decisions are made. Although being up front doesn’t make it easier for the player to accept, Maddon said he won’t make excuses in an attempt to sugar-coat the conversation.

The Cubs likely will have another difficult decision to make once outfielder Jorge Soler, who’s on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, is ready to return.

Easy as 1-2-3?

A day after he used relievers Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman in the final three innings of the Cubs’ 3-1 win over the White Sox, Maddon said having each pitch one inning could be a familiar formula as the season progresses. Maddon said he would include Travis Wood and Carl Edwards Jr. sometimes, but he likes the feel the trio of relievers gives him.

The Cubs needed only Justin Grimm and Mike Montgomery on Friday.

“It just lined up perfectly [Thursday] night,” Maddon said. “I have to take into account what’s going on and who’s able to pitch or not, but on a night that they’re all well, you probably could see something like that.”

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