DETROIT — The Cubs activated starter Jake Arrieta (cut on right thumb), infielder Nico Hoerner (strained left forearm) and reliever Dan Winkler (tendinitis, right triceps) from the 10-day injured list before Friday night’s game against the Tigers and optioned outfielder Nick Martini and relievers Jason Adam and Brad Wieck to Class AAA Iowa in corresponding moves.
“It’s nice,” manager David Ross said. “Each time you get your guys back, feeling healthy and back in the lineup, it’s nice. But you also appreciate the hard work that the guys that you send out give you. The effort they give you, it’s a mixed feeling from this seat. You’re happy to get those [injured] guys back, for sure. But it’s also tough conversations when you send guys down.”
Getting Hoerner back will be a boost for a Cubs lineup that has started to find its footing, ranking third in OPS in May. Hoerner, 24, had a strong start, slashing .389/.500/.556 with six doubles, eight walks and three stolen bases in 11 games. He was in the lineup Friday, going 0-for-4.
“It’s not ideal, but it really helped that the team was home for a couple of series against the Dodgers and Pirates,” Hoerner said. “Just makes a difference being able to stay in the flow of the season with the team even though I’m not playing, just still being in the dugout of the game.
“The timing of it all worked out well. The training staff was awesome. It stinks to miss time, but all things considered, [outfielder Ian Happ] and I are both healthy and ready to play baseball.”
Happ (bruised ribs) is said to be close to returning from the IL and took part in pregame activities Friday.
Heyward fightin’ the funk
As the Cubs have started to come out of their slump, Jason Heyward is still trying to get himself going offensively.
Last year’s 60-game season was arguably the 31-year-old right fielder’s best on offense as a Cub (265/.392/.456 with a 131 wRC+). This year, he is .175/.254/.325 with three homers and a 63 wRC+. He went 1-for-3 with a walk against the Tigers.
“[Jason] is at a point where he may be chasing some hits a little bit,” Ross said. “Last year, I thought he had our most consistent at-bats among the group, and right now, he’s just getting a little bit outside of what he does well, and I’ve talked to him about that . . . swinging at the pitches that he doesn’t really do damage on. Trying to get him back to staying within himself and recognizing what other teams do, and instead of trying to hit that pitch, just trying to lay off it a little more.”