Cubs pitcher Keegan Thompson willing to keep proving himself

“I think getting back and [pitching] a couple of more outings will give me innings toward next year,” Thompson said.

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Cubs pitcher Keegan Thompson says he is feeling fine.

Cubs pitcher Keegan Thompson says he is feeling fine.

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Cubs right-hander Keegan Thompson still thinks he has a few things to prove, even after throwing 104⅓ innings in his first full major-league season.

‘‘I think getting back and [pitching] a couple of more outings will give me innings toward next year,’’ Thompson said Sunday, two days after throwing 2⅓ innings in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Iowa. ‘‘The more innings I can get, the better for that purpose and longevity and build innings up.’’

Thompson, who has made 25 appearances (17 starts) for the Cubs, is scheduled to meet with manager David Ross, pitching coach Tommy Hottovy and medical-staff members to plan a course for the final two weeks.

‘‘He’ll be back in there soon,’’ said Ross, who declined to reveal details.

Thompson, who is on the 15-day injured list because of stiffness in his lower back, admitted to feeling anxious after pitching for the first time since Aug. 19 but stressed he feels fine.

Thompson struck out four and allowed a home run in his 46-pitch outing Friday.

‘‘So far, everything feels great,’’ Thompson said.

Hope for Hoerner

Shortstop Nico Hoerner, like Thompson, has nothing left to prove to the Cubs’ staff. But he wants to return, especially after his right triceps felt fine after playing catch from a distance of 90 feet for the first time since suffering a strain Sept. 11.

‘‘That’s where my head is at,’’ Hoerner said after an array of tests. ‘‘If there’s an opportunity to be healthy and on the field, playing Major League Baseball, I’ll do that.’’

Hoerner has played 125 games this season, a remarkable improvement after being saddled with hamstring and oblique ailments that limited him to 44 games last season.

‘‘I have peace of mind in my preparation and everything I do,’’ said Hoerner, who hopes to test his arm by throwing from a longer range soon.

This and that

Second baseman Nick Madrigal (strained right groin) and catcher Willson Contreras (sprained left ankle) did running and strength work before the game. Madrigal said he will accompany the team on its seven-game trip to Miami and Pittsburgh.

• Triple-A Iowa first baseman Frank Schwindel cleared waivers and was given his unconditional release.

• Contreras was honored as the recipient of the Cubs’ Heart and Hustle Award as ‘‘an active player who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.’’

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