ST. LOUIS — After -surviving three games in two days at Coors Field with the bullpen intact, the Cubs chose to option struggling reliever Justin Grimm to the minors to make room for Friday’s starter, Eddie Butler.
Butler, the right-hander acquired from the Rockies in a February trade, joins the roster for the weekend series against the Cardinals after producing a 1.17 ERA in five starts for Class AAA Iowa.
By sending Grimm to Iowa, the Cubs keep rookie corner infielder Jeimer Candelario on a bench that was significantly shortened in the last week by the need for extra relievers and bumps and bruises to infield starters.
Shortstop Addison Russell was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup because of shoulder soreness that has bothered him for about a week. His status is to be evaluated again Friday.
Russell called the issue “gradual soreness” he attributed in part to an inconsistent recent schedule that affected his work routine. Russell said he felt better after a day of treatment Wednesday.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo is 6-for-50 (.120) with two extra-base hits in the last two weeks and has dealt with a sore left forearm after being hit by a 99 mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman on Sunday. He’s expected to return to the lineup Friday after a scheduled day off Wednesday.
The switch-hitting Candelario batted cleanup in the two games since his recall Tuesday from Iowa, where he was one of the Pacific Coast League’s hottest hitters.
NOTE: Right fielder Jason Heyward, who’s on the 10-day disabled list because of a jammed right index finger, said he expects to return as soon as he’s eligible. That would be Tuesday, when the Cubs open a 10-game homestand against the Reds.
Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub.