Cubs put Jason Heyward (hamstring) on DL, add Dillon Maples to bullpen

SHARE Cubs put Jason Heyward (hamstring) on DL, add Dillon Maples to bullpen
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Heyward will be sidelined until at least Sept. 10.

PHILADELPHIA — Even with rosters expanding for the final month Saturday, the Cubs spun the revolving door on their lineup one more time, with right fielder Jason Heyward going on the disabled list just ahead of Kris Bryant being activated Saturday.

Heyward, who injured his right hamstring on a diving play Thursday night in Atlanta, was put on the 10-day DL to allow the Cubs to add Dillon Maples to the bullpen for a day before September roster sizes would have made the move moot.

The DL decision helps protect a bullpen that was needed for 10⅔ innings in the previous two days alone.

It also means Heyward won’t be eligible to return to the field before Sept. 10, which wasn’t likely anyway.

“With hamstrings, you don’t want to push it now and make it something even worse than it might be,” manager Joe Maddon said. “You want to play it conservatively as you figure the whole thing out. He was definitely sore [Friday]. You’ve got to be really cautious with these things . . . especially this time of the year.”

The Cubs, who hold a 3½-game lead in the NL Central after their 2-1 loss in 10 innings to the Phillies and wins by the Brewers and Cardinals, want to get their players healthy for late September and October instead of pushing them.

Meanwhile, Maddon said he expects Bryant to be in the lineup Saturday for the first time since July 23 when the third baseman returns from a shoulder injury as rosters expand.

“I don’t want him to come in here and expect that he has to do a whole bunch of stuff,” said Maddon, who might ease him into the lineup lower than his accustomed second spot. “I want him to just come and play.”

Broken record

One night after his go-ahead homer in Atlanta tied the record, Tommy La Stella broke the Cubs’ single-season pinch-hit mark (21) Friday with a single leading off the seventh. He was hitting for starter Jose Quintana, who went 2-for-2.

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“He’s always prepared,” Maddon said. “Give him a lot of credit. I try to play him as often as we can to keep the bat fresh when he gets those opportunities. He never complains.”

The franchise record had been shared by Thad Bosley (1985) and Dave Clark (1997).

Reinforcements

Maddon said he expects two or three players to be called up Saturday in addition to Bryant and shortstop Addison Russell being activated from the DL.

That could include the speedy outfielder Terrance Gore, who was acquired two weeks ago from the Royals. He has 21 career steals and no career hits.

Calling up Gore will require clearing a spot on the 40-man roster.

Russell ready

Maddon expects Russell to be available off the bench for likely late-inning defensive duty Saturday as he’s eased back into more regular play.

“I’m sure they have a set plan; maybe going over the plan with me might be a little beneficial for me moving toward the future,” said Russell, who said he’s ready for anything that’s asked of him.

“I feel good. I feel really, really good,” he said.

That includes the shoulder soreness that is almost gone and a sprained left middle finger that “I haven’t felt even once” during work in the batting cage over the past week.

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