Cubs designate infielder Andrelton Simmons for assignment
Manager David Ross said “there’s no room” for Simmons, a four-time Gold Glove winner who was bothered by shoulder issues all season.
This wasn’t what the Cubs had in mind when they signed infielder Andrelton Simmons.
The Cubs reinstated Simmons (strained right shoulder) from the 10-day injured list, then designated him for assignment before their game Saturday against the Marlins.
Manager David Ross had a simple explanation for why the Cubs made the move.
‘‘There’s no room for him [on the roster], to be honest,’’ Ross said.
If the Cubs need to call up an infielder, Ross said they would bring back David Bote from Triple-A Iowa. Zach McKinstry and Christopher Morel are versatile and can play shortstop, making Simmons expendable.
Simmons’ time with the Cubs didn’t go how anybody hoped. A four-time Gold Glove shortstop, Simmons signed a one-year, $4 million deal in March to provide depth and allow Ross to mix and match with Nico Hoerner and Nick Madrigal. But Simmons was bothered by shoulder issues and was limited to 35 games. He hit .173 in 75 at-bats.
‘‘Phenomenal person, great professional,’’ Ross said. ‘‘I’m going to miss him personally. Really good conversations. Talked to him [Friday] at length. One of those situations that he very much understood.’’
Good and bad
Morel got his first hit in August to snap an 0-for-25 skid, but he wasn’t around to finish the game after leaving with tightness in his right hamstring.
Before the game, Ross was asked about potentially sitting Morel, but he preferred to let him play through it.
‘‘It’s not always success here, and you’ve got to let some guys have moments where [they struggle],’’ Ross said. ‘‘I don’t think taking people out of competition when they’re struggling is always the best thing because he’s going to be right back in the next day, right?’’
Ross and the Cubs hope to see Morel and other developing players work through the hiccups and get better.
‘‘You’ve just got to keep having a process, a routine, a way to get your work in and trust that on a daily basis and still go out there and compete to your best,’’ Ross said. ‘‘That’s also a skill set and a mindset that you have to develop, as well, at this level because there is no escape route.’’
Madrigal pinch-hit for Morel in the sixth and replaced him at second base. Ross said Morel felt tightness running the bases and is day-to-day.
Ross said he thought the game swung when right fielder Seiya Suzuki threw out the Marlins’ Miguel Rojas at home on a single to end the third. Suzuki’s throw was strong but up the first-base line. Catcher P.J. Higgins was able to pivot across the plate and tag Rojas.
‘‘That’s how you’re taught as a catcher, and he did it textbook,’’ Ross said.
Ross said he is impressed by Higgins’ ability to produce at the plate despite long layoffs. He stays ready with a routine that keeps his timing consistent.
Ross also mentioned Higgins’ game-calling and the way he prepares.
‘‘Just very mature for the amount of time he has in [the majors],’’ Ross said.