Cubs draftees debut; Cousins back from COVID

Some of the Cubs' 2021 draft picks have started playing at the Arizona rookie league.

On Sunday, second-rounder James Triantos, fifth-rounder Liam Spence, 10th-rounder Peter Matt and 15th-rounder B.J. Murray were in the lineup.

Spence, an Australia native who played at Tennessee, is expected to head to Class A South Bend. It's not clear yet if the Cubs will start moving players from Arizona to new teams. Minor league consolidation led to elimination of the traditional short-season rookie leagues. In the past, Cubs draftees would typically report to Eugene, Ore.

Now, the newly drafted players are joining other prospects who have already been playing in Mesa. Outfielder Kevin Alcantara, who came over from the Yankees in the Anthony Rizzo trade, hit his first home run for the Cubs on Sunday.

Two of the top prospects from the Yu Darvish trade have been doing well in Arizona - third baseman Reginald Preciado (.366) and outfielder Owen Cassie (.351).

Tuesday's Arizona Cubs lineup featured Triantos, Preciado, Cassie and Alcantara hitting in the second through fifth spots in the order, with Matt hitting eighth at first base.

Another early highlight from the Cubs flurry of trades is outfielder Alexander Canario. He's off to a good start in South Bend, hitting .310 with 2 home runs in seven games with his new team. Canario came over from the Giants in the Kris Bryant trade.

Christian Hernandez, a 17-year-old Puerto Rico native, hit his first professional home run Saturday in the Dominican summer league.

Cousins back from COVID:

The Brewers activated pitcher Jake Cousins from the COVID list on Tuesday. The St. Charles native and Wheaton Academy grad had been out since July 31. The Brewers were in Atlanta at the time, so Cousins spent his time off at the Georgia home of teammate Hunter Strickland, staying in a camper. Cousins said he was vaccinated and had symptoms for a couple of days.

"I had sinus congestion," he said, according to the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel. "I couldn't really hear for a couple of days, just because of all the pressure, and then I lost my sense of smell for a few days, but that was honestly it."

Cousins' road to the major leagues included stops with two local independent teams, the Schaumburg Flyers and Chicago Dogs in Rosemont. He made his debut with the Brewers on June 21 and has pitched in 13 games without allowing a run. ...

After Game 1, the Cubs activated pitcher Rowan Wick from the injured list and sent Trevor Megill to Iowa. Wick has been out all year with an oblique injury.

• Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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