Cubs activate Yan Gomes, option Miguel Amaya before series finale vs. Cardinals

Amaya heads to Triple-A, in a move that amounts to a promotion with a big-league detour.

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The Cubs activated Yan Gomes off the seven-day concussion injured list on Wednesday.

The Cubs activated Yan Gomes off the seven-day concussion injured list on Wednesday.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Whistles sounded from the left-field bleachers as Cubs catcher Yan Gomes jogged across the outfield to the bullpen Wednesday afternoon before the series finale against the Cardinals.

Earlier in the day, the Cubs activated Gomes off the seven-day concussion injured list. In the Cubs’ 10-4 victory, he started behind the plate, hit a two-run home run to expand the Cubs’ lead in the fourth inning and went 3-for-3 with a walk.

“Actually gave him an extra day yesterday, making sure everything was up to speed,” manager David Ross said. “He feels great.”

Gomes, who left the Cubs’ game in Washington on May 1 after being hit in the head with a backswing, became eligible to be reinstated Tuesday, but rookie catcher Miguel Amaya got one last start.

Gomes’ return to health meant the end of Amaya’s first stint in the big leagues. But after starting the year in Double-A, he was optioned to Triple-A on Wednesday — a promotion with a big-league detour.

“The swings were good, the plate discipline was good, the approach, how he handled the [pitching] staff, the way he interacted with his teammates and pitching department and the catchers, there’s a lot of positives from that,” Ross said. “It’s just extremely rewarding knowing, in a position that’s really hard to find in the major leagues, we’ve got a young man coming that we have high hopes for.”

Amaya went 3-for-13 in six games — four starts and two appearances off the bench. He had a clutch RBI in his major-league debut. And he won praise from coaches and teammates alike.

“Winning those guys over and having the veteran guys commenting on his calmness I thought was really impressive,” president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “And no doubt, it gives a lot more confidence.’’

The Cubs clearly saw promise in Amaya when they put him on the 40-man roster in the fall of 2019 to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. But Tommy John surgery and a Lisfranc injury, essentially back-to-back, delayed him.

“Hopefully now he can stay healthy,” Hoyer said. “But the healthy version of him should play catcher in the big leagues for a long time.”

Hendricks on track

A bullpen session in Chicago with the major-league pitching coaches over the weekend had the desired effect for veteran right-hander Kyle Hendricks. In his Triple-A rehab start Tuesday, he threw five scoreless innings and allowed only two hits. He threw about 60 pitches for a second consecutive start.

“Obviously he knows himself really well,” Ross said, “but having the guys you’ve been around for a really long time that know you, your mechanics, your mindset, what your intent is, the things you focus on, I just think we’ve got a really good staff here that can help with a lot of that stuff.”

Hendricks is scheduled to make another rehab start Sunday. The Cubs will continue to evaluate next steps after each start.

“Getting him a high pitch count is a priority for me,” Ross said.

“Obviously things change daily around here with health. Kyle’s a guy that we want to be fully stretched out before he comes back.”

In other injury news

Second baseman Nico Hoerner (strained left hamstring) went through baseball activities and remains day-to-day.

Left-hander Brandon Hughes (left knee inflammation) threw a 32-pitch bullpen session and felt really good, according to the Cubs. He is eligible to be activated from the 15-day IL on Friday.

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