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Cubs trying to get healthy as August begins to wind down

Right-hander Adbert Alzolay and catcher Willson Contreras played catch Monday, while infielder Nico Hoerner took ground balls and hit in the cage.

‘‘[Adbert Alzolay] feels good,’’ Cubs manager David Ross said. ‘‘He’s gonna work his way back, and the trainers are on top of that.”
‘‘[Adbert Alzolay] feels good,’’ Cubs manager David Ross said. ‘‘He’s gonna work his way back, and the trainers are on top of that.”
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

CINCINNATI — One of the main goals for the Cubs during the last six weeks of the regular season is to get healthy again, and they’re slowly getting closer to that goal.

Right-hander Adbert Alzolay and catcher Willson Contreras played catch before the game Monday against the Reds. It was the first baseball activity for Alzolay since he landed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hamstring.

‘‘[Adbert] feels good,’’ manager David Ross said. ‘‘He’s gonna work his way back, and the trainers are on top of that. He’s just moving around. Doesn’t seem like it was anything very serious, and it feels good.’’

Contreras did some agility work before the game under the watch of the Cubs’ training staff. He has been on the IL with a sprained right knee.

Infielder Nico Hoerner (strained right oblique) has been traveling with the team as he works his way back to 100%. Hoerner has been adding in more baseball activities, taking ground balls and hitting in the cage before the game.

Hoerner has had a challenging second season with the Cubs. While he has produced when he has been on the field, he also has been on the IL three times.

‘‘Learning to play baseball at this level is a lot about playing baseball and also just being available,’’ Hoerner said recently. ‘‘When you’re not available, then the baseball side of it isn’t an option. No regrets on how I’ve been training or going about it, but kind of just take things that have happened and learn from it as best you can.’’

Thompson inching closer

Right-hander Keegan Thompson has been getting stretched out at Triple-A Iowa as he prepares to return to the Cubs as a starter.

Thompson made his fourth start Sunday since being sent down and was dominant, not allowing a hit and striking out seven in 413 innings.

‘‘I think success at the big-league level should definitely translate to success at the minor-league level,’’ Ross said. ‘‘I think that Keegan has proved he can pitch at the big-league level. Now it’s about sustaining that over the course of four, five and six innings when you get to be a starter. That’s why you get stretched out, to see how that stuff plays.’’