Hoyer not concerned about Cubs’ slumping offense

The Cubs’ offense has been in a slump, but Tuesday's game in Atlanta was the first time they had Dansby Swanson, Nico Hoerner, Seiya Suzuki and Cody Bellinger in the same lineup since April 14 at Seattle.

Swanson was activated off the injured list with a right knee sprain, while Hoerner returned from six days off with a tight hamstring. The Cubs also brought up infielder Luis Vazquez, while sending Pete Crow-Armstrong and Miles Mastrobuoni to Iowa.

Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer spoke to reporters before Tuesday's game and expressed confidence in the offense.

“We've had a month where we struggled, really,” Hoyer said. “I think April was a pretty good month for us offensively. May so far has been a struggle, especially with guys in scoring position. I think some of that is playing short-handed at times and some of that is guys we count on have been struggling.

“At this moment, I'm not overly concerned given the way we swung the bats in April. For context, I think our run scoring is better than the team across the way and I don't think anyone's overly concerned about the Braves' offense. I think these are the things that happen over a long season.”

Dansby gets antsy

Swanson played in all but two games for Atlanta from 2020-22, so time on the injured list takes some getting used to.

“It was tough initially to say that I didn't need to be out there,” Swanson said. “It was very prideful of me to try and continue to keep playing. Taking a step back can be good at times. You've just got to use your time wisely. It's a different kind of opportunity to talk to teammates, help guys with whatever they need.”

Swanson said sitting out became more difficult as time went on, but manager Craig Counsell had a different view from the dugout.

“It's unnerving being on the bench,” Counsell said. “I've had more fun with Nico (Horner) the last week about being on the bench, because Dansby relaxed after a little while. But you can't get Nico to sit still. He's had his glove on for nine innings, and I tend to wear my glove a lot too, so we joked about that.

“For both of those guys, they're used to being out there and they want to be out there. As a manager, you love that.”

Vazquez, 24, is a Puerto Rico native drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round in 2017. He'll make his MLB debut when he takes the field in a Cubs uniform.

Counsell said the idea is to have a strong defender ready in case Swanson or Hoerner need more time off. Miles Mastrobuoni had a rough weekend defensively filling in at shortstop.

Smyly success

Drew Smyly (right hip impingement) threw 3 perfect innings with 5 strikeouts in a rehab start at Class A South Bend on Tuesday. … Reliever Julian Merryweather began throwing in Arizona on Monday as he works his way back from a rib stress fracture. …

Manager Craig Counsell said reliever Adbert Alzolay is getting a second opinion on a right flexor strain. … Starter Jordan Wicks threw a bullpen session at Wrigley Field on Tuesday and is expected to begin a rehab assignment later this week … Pitchers Yency Almonte (right shoulder strain) and Keegan Thompson (viral illness) did light throwing.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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