MILWAUKEE — A series of pregame moves Sunday in Milwaukee put rookie Keegan Thompson on the mound as the starter against the Brewers in the teams’ season-series finale and jettisoned command-challenged reliever Dillon Maples from the organization after a decade with the Cubs.
Thompson (shoulder inflammation) missed 16 days on the injured list. He takes fill-in Adrian Sampson’s place in the rotation with Sunday’s activation.
Maples, a 14th-round pick in 2011 who signed for an over-slot bonus of $2.5 million, was designated for assignment despite a 2.59 ERA in 28 games this season (5.10 career) — because of a propensity for walks (7.2 per nine innings this year; 8.2 career), hit batters (eight this year) and occasional hard contact (1.277 WHIP in 2021; 1.555 career).
“Look, this guy has worked his tail off to continue to evolve, try to get his stuff in the zone consistently, and I think we’re just at a point in the season, in his career, where it was just getting to a space where we want to take a look at some other guys, with roster crunches,” manager David Ross said.
“There’s some people in the organization that feel like we’ve just run out of time. We wish him the best in his career and hopefully for his sake he catches on with somebody, and he’s able to have a long, successful major-league career. It just doesn’t look right now at this time like it’s going to be with us.”
In other moves Sunday, the Cubs activated Nico Hoerner (oblique) from the injured lIst and put him in the lineup at shortstop.
Outfielder Nick Martini was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room.