Cubs' Hoerner set to begin rehab assignment
Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner will finally make his Iowa Cubs debut.
Manager David Ross told reporters before Saturday's game against the Dodgers that Hoerner will begin a rehab assignment in Iowa on Sunday, joining pitchers Trevor Williams and Justin Steele. Reliever Dillon Maples was expected to begin a rehab stint Saturday.
Hoerner has been out with a hamstring strain since May 25 when he stumbled over first base in Pittsburgh trying to beat out an infield grounder.
He had a unique trip through the minors after being drafted by the Cubs in 2018 with the No. 24 overall pick out of Stanford. In 2019, he was brought up to the majors from Double A Tennessee, skipping over Triple A.
Hoerner spent all of 2020 with the Cubs, then when he wasn't on the roster when this season began, he was at the South Bend alternate site, because the start of minor league seasons was delayed this year due to pandemic precautions.
Hoerner has played in just 21 games this season, but has been one of the Cubs most important players. He has the highest batting average on the team at .338 and has played spectacular defense at second base.
"It'll be nice to get these guys some games under their belt, get them healthy, get them back in the lineup and then still have some days off to recover, too, with the All-Star break coming up," Ross said Saturday, according to NBC Sports Chicago. "It's kind of good timing. Definitely missed a lot of those guys."
David Bote (shoulder) was taking ground balls and batting practice at Wrigley Field before the Cubs left for L.A. He should be ready to begin a rehab assignment soon. Matt Duffy (back) is progressing, but still a few weeks away.
The last time the Cubs sent players to Iowa after hamstring injuries, Jason Heyward and Jake Marisnick played in two games before rejoining the Cubs.
• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls