Cubs recall Michael Rucker, put Edwin Rios on IL

Cubs notes: Codi Heuer put together a string rehab outing, Matt Mervis has chance to build off double.

SHARE Cubs recall Michael Rucker, put Edwin Rios on IL
Cubs right-hander Michael Rucker rejoined the major-league bullpen in Anaheim on Wednesday.

Cubs right-hander Michael Rucker rejoined the major-league bullpen in Anaheim on Wednesday.

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Cubs reliever Michael Rucker walked into the clubhouse and was greeted with hugs and handshakes by one teammate after another.

The Cubs recalled him from Triple-A Iowa and put first baseman Edwin Ríos on the 10-day injured list with a strained left groin before Wednesday’s 6-2 loss to the Angels.

Rucker retired three straight batters in the seventh inning and then pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth for two scoreless innings in his first game back.

The Cubs optioned Rucker last week to bring up right-hander Hayden Wesneski. At the time, Wesneski joined the bullpen. But when Justin Steele strained his forearm, Wesneski took his spot in the rotation.

The Cubs have been playing down a pitcher since putting Steele on the IL and recalling catcher Miguel Amaya. Rucker’s addition balances the roster at 13 pitchers and 13 position players.

Rucker had a strong start to the season but gave up 10 runs in his last four multi-inning outings before being optioned.

He made one appearance in Iowa, throwing 2⅓ shutout innings and then was recalled.

Ríos has mostly pinch hit for the Cubs this year. With inconsistent at-bats and a stint in Triple-A, he hasn’t recorded a hit in his last seven major-league games (10 at-bats), dating back to the end of April.

Getting Mervis to mash

Cubs rookie Matt Mervis hit a two-run double in the Cubs’ 7-4 loss to the Angels on Tuesday, snapping a six-game hitless streak.

“I definitely think big hits can build confidence,” manager David Ross said Wednesday. “And that’s what springboards all that stuff. But you’ve got to consistently build upon that, stack a couple of those together, stack up a 1-for-3 with a walk, a 2-for-4, and then let that start to trend in the right direction.”

Mervis’ big hit in the second inning was followed by a costly error in the fifth.

“Started off on a good note, obviously . . . and then the error was probably the turning point in the game,” Mervis said. “So just try to move past it.”

Injury updates

Steele was scheduled to throw a “touch-and-feel,” or light bullpen session on Wednesday. Reliever Brad Boxberger, having come out of his own “touch-and-feel” well on Monday, was set to progress to a full bullpen session Wednesday.

Reliever Codi Heuer felt good coming out of his rehab outing Tuesday. He threw one shutout inning, right after the team extended his rehab assignment past the usual 30-day limit.

“Right now, he’s not in a place where we felt like it was the right time to call him up,” president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said before Heuer’s outing Tuesday.

“But that can happen quickly. . . . There’s no doubt he’s going to help us. Let’s just make sure he’s in the right place when he comes up here because it’s a lot harder up here. The lights are brighter, and we want to make sure he’s ready to go.”

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