Robertson off IL, hoping to pick up where he left off with Cubs

David Robertson summed up his nine-day stint on the injured list in two words: "Pretty boring."

No surprise there as professional athletes are limited to what they can do when recovering from COVID. Robertson, who leads the Cubs with 5 saves, was activated off the IL on Wednesday and was available to pitch against the Pirates at Wrigley Field.

Robertson said he had "typical symptoms" and spent about five days trying to get his energy back.

"I definitely couldn't have gone out there and performed to the level they would need me to," Robertson said. "There's also the fear of spreading it throughout your team. I don't want to do that."

Robertson signed a one-year deal with the Cubs on March 16 and has proved to be one of the top arms in the bullpen. The 37-year-old has allowed just 3 hits, walked 6 and struck out 17 in 12 innings. The only runs he allowed came on a 2-run homer by the Dodgers' Mookie Betts on May 7.

Robertson went on the IL the next day, but the bullpen held its own in his absence with:

• Rowan Wick notching saves on May 11, 14 and 15

• Daniel Norris allowing just 1 hit in 3 2/3 innings

• Scott Effross allowing 1 unearned run in 2 2/3 innings

• Chris Martin giving up 1 run in 2 2/3 innings

• Brandon Hughes striking out 5 in his MLB debut during a 7-0 win Tuesday over Pittsburgh.

Overall, the Cubs' bullpen has a 3.18 ERA, the fifth-best mark in the majors through Tuesday.

"There's a lot of talent out there," Robertson said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to come right back in and add another piece to it and we'll be able to continue winning games."

Around the horn:

According to Elias, Cubs reliever Brandon Hughes became the first pitcher since 1893 to record at least 5 outs in his MLB debut with every out being a strikeout. ... Through Tuesday's games, Willson Contreras had a .463 OBP, the second-best mark in the majors. ... The Cubs optioned RHP Mark Leiter Jr. to Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday. Leiter had a 6.57 ERA in 5 appearances (3 starts). ...

Keegan Thompson threw a career-high 5 innings and recorded his first win as a starter during the Cubs' 7-0 victory over Pittsburgh on Tuesday. ... Jonathan Villar's solo homer Tuesday was his first as a Cub and snapped a career-high 173 at-bat homerless drought. Villar has 99 career HRs. ... In three games from Sunday-Tuesday, Pirates managed just 1 run and 8 hits. The lone run came while being no-hit in a 1-0 win over the Reds.

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