The Cubs had hoped to see versatile infielder Nico Hoerner at several positions during the second half.
It hasn’t happened.
Hoerner has been on the 10-day injured list with a strained right oblique since July 29, and because of tension he felt in the muscle last month at Triple-A Iowa, the Cubs put his rehab assignment on pause. He traveled with them to Minneapolis and continued to take part in baseball activity Tuesday as he attempts to get back on track. He’s slashing .313/.388/.388 with 10 doubles, 14 RBI and 15 walks in 39 games this season.
Manager David Ross had hoped Hoerner would be able to start a fresh rehab assignment a few weeks after his setback, but with just four weeks left in the season, it doesn’t appear imminent.
“More baseball activity [Tuesday],” Ross said. “I hope he’s getting closer. I’m hoping yesterday’s off day went a long way in helping him recover. He’s moving around, itching to get back, but it’s just not responding the way he wants yet.”
Contreras begins rehab at Iowa
Unlike Hoerner, catcher Willson Contreras appears to be just around the corner from a return to the main roster. He started a rehab assignment Tuesday night at Iowa, catching five innings and going 1-for-3 with a solo home run.
Contreras has been on the 10-day injured list with a sprained right knee since Aug. 14, Before that, he was .226/.333/.417 with 17 homers and 40 RBI.