The Cubs put left fielder Joc Pederson (left wrist tendinitis) on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 21. Infielder Nico Hoerner was recalled from the team’s alternate site in a corresponding move.
Hoerner, 23, was optioned before the beginning of the season. He had a monster showing during spring training, hitting .364 with three doubles, two triples, two home runs, three stolen bases and a 1.055 OPS.
Pederson, 28, struggled offensively after a torrid spring. He is hitting .137/.262/.235 with only one home run in 16 games.
Pederson’s injury could mean Kris Bryant gets some more time in the outfield, where he has played well in limited action this season and throughout his career.
Bryant started in right field for a second consecutive night in Thursday’s series finale against the Mets.
“He looks so comfortable out there,” manager David Ross said. “It really is a nice luxury to be able to move a guy of his caliber around a little bit. . . . He’s gotten some action out there, and there’s been no panic in the movements. It’s been very clean; he’s done a great job. It looks really natural out there, and that’s a really big value, especially when I get guys like [Matt] Duffy in there and give an outfielder a day off.”
Duffy, Sogard providing spark
When Duffy and Eric Sogard made the Cubs’ roster, the decision caught many fans by surprise after the spring performances of Hoerner, David Bote and Ildemaro Vargas.
But what the veteran infielders are providing off the bench for the Cubs has been needed for some time.
Their ability to put the ball in play, especially in spots in which situational hitting and contact are needed, has been on display early in the season.
“They’ve been exactly what we expected, even better, I would say, than expected,” Ross said. “Both of them are extremely hard workers and know themselves as major-league players, low-maintenance swings, good approaches, professional at-bats.”
Duffy was slashing .267/.389/.333 in 15 at-bats, and Sogard was tied for third in the majors with three pinch hits.
“I think you’re trying as best you can to mimic game action, or as close as you can to it,” Duffy said. “For me, it’s a lot of pitching machines, trying to see velocity, trying to shorten my swing as best as I can. Seeing breaking balls off the machine as well as going down and tracking pitchers in their bullpens on the side really helps, as well.