The Cubs announced a series of roster moves on Tuesday and placed right Jake Arrieta, infielder Nico Hoerner and relief Dan Winkler on the 10-day damage list. Arrieta is dealing with wear and tear on his right thumb, while Hoerner has a left forearm strain and Winkler is being slowed down by tendinitis in his right triceps. In their absence, the kids have called back left Kyle Ryan and right hand Keegan Thompson. They have also chosen contract with infielder Ildemaro Vargas, fill out their 40-man list.
Arrieta, 35, has so far had a decent rebound effort with the Cubs, making six starts and logging a 4.31
The 23-year-old is off to a brilliant start in 2021, hitting .389 / .500 / .556 with six doubles, three steals and eight times against seven strikes through 44 trips to the plate. Hoerner collided with midfielder Ian Happ as he chased a low fly-ball during Sunday’s match against the Reds, although it is not clear if this game is the source of his current injury. Happ remains day-to-day following this incident, with manager David Ross telling reporters that he has been diagnosed with a rib contusion after being kicked “pretty hard” by Hoerner in the process. Hoerner tells reporters he expects to be back from IL once he is eligible (Twitter link via Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago).
Winkler, meanwhile, has held opponents to just one run of five hits in 10 1/3 innings. It’s a strong start in terms of bottom line results, but the fact that he went seven hits, picked another and snapped off a wild pitch suggests he will need to improve his control if he is to maintain anything close. the output. In his honor, Winkler has also knocked out a dozen of the 44 hitters he faces, but this marks another year in a row with questionable command in the Cubs’ bullpen for the 31-year-old Illinois native.
Ryan leads Cubs relievers in innings set over the last few seasons and will give Ross another left-back to work with so far. Thompson, who made his MLB debut when he threw an inning earlier this year, is scheduled to start the second game of today’s twin bill against the Dodgers. He is a 26-year-old back-of-the-rotation / swingman candidate who ranks 14th among the Cubs farmhands on MLB.com, 23rd on FanGraphs and 28th in Baseball America. The Cubs’ rotation does not have room for him when it is at full strength, but he will probably be encouraged for more starts instead in situations like this all year when injuries appear among the team’s top few starters.
Vargas has appeared in eight games with the Cubs, dating back to a forced waiver from the twins in 2020. He has spent most of his career with the D-backs, primarily in a news role, and has a lifespan of .252 / .280 / .388-hitter in 300 trips to the record as a great leager. He joins the mix at second base and off the bench, while Hoerner sideways.