Cubs’ Wade Miley returns to Cincinnati; Reds to recognize his 2021 season

Lefty Wade Miley spent two seasons with the Reds before the Cubs claimed him off waivers this winter.

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Cubs lefty Wade Miley isn’t scheduled to face his former team this week, but Cincinnati plans to present him with the Reds Most Outstanding Pitcher award for 2021.

Cubs lefty Wade Miley isn’t scheduled to face his former team this week, but Cincinnati plans to present him with the Reds Most Outstanding Pitcher award for 2021.

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CINCINNATI — With left-hander Wade Miley’s family visiting for the Cubs’ four-game series against the Reds, his former team, his son had a special request. Jeb wanted Graeter’s Ice Cream for lunch.

“When we lived here, it’d be probably three or four days a week, nine o’clock at night, my wife or Jeb would be like, ‘Hey, let’s go to Graeter’s,’ ’’ Miley said. “And we’d take off.”

So on Monday, they had ice cream for lunch.

Miley isn’t scheduled to pitch in the series, but on Tuesday, the Reds plan to present him with their Most Outstanding Pitcher Award for 2021, voted on by the local Baseball Writers’ Association of America chapter. The Cubs claimed Miley off waivers this winter from the Reds, who were plunging into a rebuild.

The Cubs (17-24) and Reds (12-29) are two of the bottom three teams in the division along with the Pirates (17-24).

“I think [Reds general manager] Nick Krall knows what he’s doing,” Miley said. “I think he’s got a plan, and I wish them nothing but the best.”

The Reds’ roster looks much different than it did at the end of last season, but Miley still knows a few players on the other side of the field. He sprinted out of the dugout during afternoon batting practice to greet Mike Moustakas. And Joey Votto notably remained on the team through the offseason upheaval.

“During the COVID season, you spent a lot of time with your teammates because we were in a bubble,” Miley said. “So we were hanging out together and didn’t have a choice. . . . We got really close. We found ways to have fun and enjoy those times.”

Contreras out of lineup

Manager David Ross said he was confident that catcher Willson Contreras will avoid the injured list after leaving the game Saturday against the Diamondbacks with a strained right hamstring. He was out of the starting lineup, and his status remains day-to-day.

“We’ll see how he is, get out, move around a little bit,” Ross said. “We’ll give him a couple of days to rest up.”

Hoerner approaching return

Shortstop Nico Hoerner (sprained right ankle) is close to returning from the 10-day injured list, Ross said. Hoerner fielded ground balls and took batting practice before the game.

“Hopefully in a few days, we’ll see,” Ross said.

In other injury news . . .

Second baseman Nick Madrigal (lower back) is progressing toward a rehab stint, but Ross didn’t give a timeline for when it will begin, saying the Cubs will continue to monitor him. Time in Triple-A also could help Madrigal get in a groove at the plate after he started the season with an uncharacteristically low .203 batting average.

Outfielder Clint Frazier (appendicitis) is five games into his rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa and is hitting .176 in 17 at-bats. Ross said he didn’t have a sense for how many games Frazier will need before returning.

Left-hander Sean Newcomb (sprained left ankle) is scheduled to start a Triple-A rehab stint Tuesday.

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