The Cubs announced they’ve placed second baseman Nico Hoerner on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 9, due to a left hamstring strain. Utility player Miles Mastrobuoni was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to take his spot on the active roster. Chicago also reinstated reliever Brandon Hughes from the IL and optioned swingman Javier Assad to Iowa.
Hoerner has gotten off to a nice start to the year. After signing a three-year extension in Spring Training, the 25-year-old infielder has put together a .303/.348/.395 line over 164 plate appearances. He’s already stolen 12 bases in 14 attempts and has kept his strikeout rate to a customarily excellent 10.4% clip. The Stanford product has gotten typically strong reviews from public metrics for his defense at second base.
The Cubs have deployed Hoerner at the top of the lineup. Since he came up with the hamstring issue a few days ago, Nick Madrigal and Christopher Morel have gotten some looks at second base and in the leadoff spot. That’ll continue for at least the next week, with Mastrobuoni also again in the picture after hitting .291/.494/.455 over 18 games in Iowa.
Hughes, 27, figures to return to a high-leverage role out of the bullpen. The southpaw was excellent as a rookie last year, tossing 57 2/3 innings of 3.12 ERA ball with a strong 28.5% strikeout rate. He’d seen some time in the ninth inning by year’s end and picked up eight saves. He’s twice gone on the IL because of left knee inflammation thus far in 2023, though, limiting him to five MLB appearances.