Cubs activate Heyward, call up pitcher Abbott

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward was activated Saturday after missing the last 15 games with a left hamstring strain.

    Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward was activated Saturday after missing the last 15 games with a left hamstring strain. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 6/5/2021 8:49 PM

The Cubs made several roster moves before Saturday's game in San Francisco.

Outfielder Jason Heyward was activated from the injured list after missing 15 games with a left hamstring strain and was back in right field against the Giants.

 

The Cubs also called up right-handed pitcher Cory Abbott from Triple A Iowa. They sent left-handed reliever Brad Wieck back to Iowa, while outfielder Nick Martini was designated for assignment. If he clears waivers, Martini will likely return to Iowa.

It's a tough break for Wieck, who hasn't allowed an earned run in 8 innings this season. But the Cubs needed some length in the bullpen and Abbott has been a starter in Iowa.

"That's what he's here for," manager David Ross said of Abbott. "Cory's a guy that's been around for a little while and on the radar. I know he's been pitching well in Iowa, heard nothing but good things about his performances of late."

The problem is the Cubs have gotten three straight short outings from their starters. Jake Arrieta left after 2 innings Friday, Zach Davies left in the fifth inning on Thursday and Kohl Stewart didn't make it through four on Saturday.

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"You hate to send anyone out who's throwing well," Ross said. "Brad Wieck is throwing really good for us. With the situation we've been through some short outings from the starters. We need some length down there and some protection on the back side. I think Cory gives us that. He's been starting, so he's stretched out and can give us some length."

Abbott was a second-round draft pick of the Cubs in 2017 out of Loyola Marymount. He posted a 6.39 ERA in five starts at Iowa this season, but did strike out 13 over 6 innings in his last outing.

The Cubs may get Alec Mills back relatively soon. He threw 6 shutout innings in a rehab assignment at Iowa on Wednesday.

The Cubs also claimed right-handed pitcher Dakota Chalmers off waivers from Minnesota and he was assigned to Double A Tennessee. They lost pitcher Tyson Miller, who started a game for the Cubs last year, to a waiver claim by Texas.

Outfielder Jake Marisnick went on the injured list because of a hamstring strain on May 11, more than a week before Heyward and the two players did their rehab assignments together. But Marisnick wasn't feeling quite ready to be activated.

"Still with some soreness from playing, giving him another day," Ross said. "We'll test him and run him pretty diligently today and maybe give him one more day off tomorrow. The recovery process didn't go quite as smooth as Jason's."

• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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