Cubs put second baseman Nico Hoerner on 10-day IL with strained left hamstring

The Cubs also recalled utility player Miles Mastrobuoni from Triple-A Iowa, reinstated left-hander Brandon Hughes from the IL and optioned right-hander Javier Assad to Triple-A.

SHARE Cubs put second baseman Nico Hoerner on 10-day IL with strained left hamstring
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MINNEAPOLIS — As the Cubs weighed whether to put second baseman Nico Hoerner on the 10-day injured list, the calculation was more complicated than projecting whether he would need all 10 days to recover from a strained left hamstring.

In the end, the Cubs put Hoerner on the IL before their 6-2 victory Friday against the Twins.

‘‘I don’t want to get it mixed up that the IL is a sign of a setback or anything like that,’’ Hoerner said, adding all signs have been positive in his recovery. ‘‘Definitely the priority is on treating the strain thoroughly and giving myself a chance to be the best version of myself when I am back on the field. And, obviously, the way that I play requires me to move around a good bit.’’

The Cubs backdated the move to Tuesday, so Hoerner will be eligible to return Friday.

‘‘There probably is a point during this 10-day stretch when I would be at a place to contribute on the field,’’ Hoerner said. ‘‘But they’re taking a 30,000-foot view that hopefully is the best thing both for me and the team.’’

Hoerner tested his hamstring by running Friday and said he was ‘‘moving well’’ but not quite at 100%. Mapping out Hoerner’s return-to-play plan, manager David Ross said, was the deciding factor.

‘‘Best-case scenario, we would get him back for four games, and was that ideal at 85% or 90%?’’ Ross said. ‘‘Trying to balance that, I thought it was smart to just take advantage of the extra four days.’’

It helps that utility player Christopher Morel entered the game Friday 4-for-8 with a home run and three RBI since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa. He then launched a two-run homer in the ninth inning to make the Cubs’ lead more comfortable.

‘‘It’s the same baseball, just different stadiums,’’ Morel said of maintaining the patient approach he had been honing at Iowa.

The Cubs also brought back utility player Miles Mastrobuoni, who was slashing .291/.494/.455 at Iowa, for added depth.

Hughes reinstated; Assad optioned

The Cubs made two other roster moves. They reinstated left-hander Brandon Hughes from the 15-day IL and optioned right-hander Javier Assad to Triple-A.

Hughes has been dealing with recurring swelling in his left knee. But in five appearances between a pair of IL stints, he posted a 3.18 ERA. He is the only left-handed reliever on the active roster.

Assad came up last week to serve as a long reliever. He piggybacked right-hander Jameson Taillon’s last two starts while Taillon was on a pitch limit after returning from the IL. Assad pitched five or more innings in each outing and held opponents to a total of two runs.

‘‘The message is, ‘You’re the best,’ ’’ Ross said. ‘‘So fortunate to have a guy that we can move up and down and be able to fill multiple roles. I still think the value there is to continue to keep him stretched out.’’

Praise for Vazquez

Two catchers from the 2014 Red Sox were in opposing dugouts Friday, Ross and Twins catcher Christian Vazquez.

‘‘He’s one of those guys that we even talked to this offseason and earmarked as somebody that we think is a really valuable catcher,’’ Ross said of Vazquez, who was a free agent. ‘‘He’s a great catcher. He’s a great leader. World Series champion.’’

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