David Bote discusses mystery setback as Cubs activate him, DFA Jonathan Villar
Bote was expected to return from the 60-day IL earlier this month but was pulled from his rehab assignment with what the team described as bouts of dizziness.
ST. LOUIS — The Cubs reinstated infielder David Bote from the 60-day injured list Friday after he endured a winding road back to health. He rejoined the lineup for the first time since late September.
‘‘I’m just excited to be playing again,’’ Bote said before the Cubs’s 3-0 win against the Cardinals on Friday. ‘‘I mean, I got goosebumps coming out here again.’’
In a corresponding move, the Cubs designated infielder Jonathan Villar for assignment. Villar started the season with a hot bat, but his average had dropped to .222. He had committed eight errors, which were tied with third baseman Patrick Wisdom for the most on the team, in about two-thirds as many games.
‘‘Just opportunity for David, really,’’ manager David Ross said of the decision to designate Villar for assignment. ‘‘Just giving a guy that’s gonna be here an opportunity to get back. He’s worked really hard, and you’ve got to create a spot somewhere.’’
Bote (surgery on left shoulder) was expected to come back early this month, but an ailment the team described as bouts of dizziness delayed him. Bote revealed Friday he had been dealing with the issue for a couple of years.
‘‘Then it came to a head a couple of weeks ago,’’ he said. ‘‘Got some stuff checked out. We’re managing it a little bit better. Still trying to figure out what the exact cause of the thing is. But the doctors and the staff, everybody’s been super-helpful.’’
Bote said he lost 20 pounds, compared with his playing weight last season, and couldn’t keep weight on. He felt dizzy and nauseous. It got so bad that he stayed in bed for 48 hours at one point.
Though Bote said he still doesn’t have clarity on a diagnosis, he’s confident doctors will be able to manage the issue going forward.
Bote returned to his rehab assignment a week ago and went 11-for-22 in six games.
Bote originally dislocated his left shoulder in May of last season. He returned in late July and barely had been back a month when he sprained his ankle while stepping on a ball during batting practice, which landed him on the IL for another 10 days. Late in the season, he reinjured his left shoulder while swinging in the on-deck circle and opted to have offseason surgery.
Right-gander Kyle Hendricks logged one of his best starts of the season, holding the Cardinals scoreless on five hits through 7⅓ innings.
Chris Martin came in to finish the eighth, inheriting two of Hendricks’ baserunners and pitching out of the jam. David Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth to complete the Cubs’ eighth shutout of the season, tied for the second-most in the National League.
Bullpen coach Chris Young didn’t get any clear answers about why he suddenly felt hot and lightheaded and broke out in hives during the first inning of the Cubs’ game Thursday against the Pirates. He said he never collapsed or lost consciousness.
‘‘All day long, I felt great,’’ Young said after thanking Cubs trainers P.J. Mainville and Nick Frangella, the Pirates’ doctors and trainers and the umpires for their diligence and patience. ‘‘In about 60 seconds, I knew I needed some help.’’
Young alerted staff assistant Jonathan Mota of his condition, and Mota called down to the dugout for assistance.
Young said all the hospital tests came back ‘‘great,’’ but they also didn’t attribute his symptoms to dehydration or heatstroke. He was out of the hospital by the 10th inning and resumed his full responsibilities Friday.