The Cubs will be without Nico Hoerner for at least the imminent future after placing him on the 10-day injured list Friday with a right oblique strain.
“Injuries stink, especially when you’re the passionate baseball player he is,” Cubs manager David Ross said Thursday.
Hoerner exited Wednesday’s loss to Cincinnati with right oblique tightness. He grabbed his side after a check swing strikeout in the seventh inning, leaving for the clubhouse after getting back to the dugout.
Ross said Hoerner will undergo an MRI on Thursday, which could help clarify how long he might be out.
Hoerner has played 39 games this season. He recently returned from a six-week stint on the IL with left hamstring strain.
“I shouldn’t put words in his mouth, but the look on his face, very disappointed,” Ross said. “Very disappointed.
“He worked really hard this offseason. You saw how he changed his body, the muscle he put on, how he plays the game, what his expectations for himself are. It’s a big loss for our team when he’s not out there."
Hoerner is hitting .313 with a .388 on-base percentage this season, providing great defense in the middle infield.
“His energy in the dugout, he brings a lot to the table. You just hate it for him," Ross added. "He’s dealt with a lot of things and a lot of adversity. I’m thankful he brings a positive attitude every single day.”
The Cubs recalled Sergio Alcántara from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move, giving them shortstop depth behind Javy Báez.
Báez, who has been nursing a bruised left heel, returned to the starting lineup Thursday for the first time since Monday.
“I wouldn’t say he’s 100 percent,” Ross said of Báez, “but he’s feeling much better and wanted to be in there today. Talking to him, with Nico out, he understands the situation we’re in.
"With Nico going to the IL, we’re a little thin.”
In other moves, the Cubs optioned Cory Abbott to Iowa and called up right-hander Jake Jewell. To make room for Jewell on the 40-man roster, Kohl Stewart was transferred to the 60-day IL.