A week ago in Toronto, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was introspective about the ankle injury he’d been pushing through for weeks.
“At some point, you have to just take it easy and don’t hurt the team, don’t hurt yourself and do what’s best for the team,” he said then.
It is officially that point. The Cubs announced Tuesday that they put Contreras on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Saturday, with a left ankle sprain.
The team also activated outfielder Michael Hermosillo from the 60-day IL and designated right-hander Nicholas Padilla for assignment. Hermosillo had been on the IL with a strained left quad since May 10.
Contreras is set to undergo imaging on his ankle, and the Cubs hope rest this week will help him bounce back.
“It’s a one step forward, two steps back kind of thing,” manager David Ross said. “Feels better each and every day with rest, test it out, sore again the next day. . . . Just get him back completely healthy. It’s hard to play at 70, 80% on something like that.”
Contreras originally hurt his ankle in the “Field of Dreams” game nearly four weeks ago. The soreness progressed to his foot, and he hasn’t played since last Tuesday in Toronto, when he hit a fourth-inning home run and exited after the fifth.
Veteran left-hander Wade Miley made his long-awaited return from the 60-day IL (left shoulder strain) to start in Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds. In a corresponding move, the Cubs designated right-hander Luke Farrell for assignment.
“The number of coaches or players who have raved about him this year,” president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said of Miley before the game, “despite the fact that he’d thrown 19 innings, is really amazing.”
Miley’s season has been defined by multiple IL stints. But on Tuesday, facing the team he spent the last two seasons with, Miley allowed three runs, two earned, in four innings.
He walked Jonathan India, the first batter he faced. That mistake was compounded by shaky play behind him. Second baseman Nick Madrigal fielded a grounder and sailed the throw past shortstop Nico Hoerner. Then, a short fly ball into right field took an unexpected hop past Seiya Suzuki for a two-run triple.
After a long first inning, Miley sped through the next three. He faced just one over the minimum in the second through fourth innings, giving up a solo homer to Kyle Farmer.
Zobrist lending perspective
According to Hoyer, former Cubs switch-hitting utility player Ben Zobrist has worked with the business side of the organization on “alumni-type stuff.” And Hoyer left the door open for an increased role on the baseball side.
“I think there’s a lot of value in having him around,” Hoyer said. We haven’t talked about a specific role. But I’d love to have him in spring training and have him around the guys because I do think that it is a perspective and a career and a work ethic that I think is unique.”