After almost exactly two months out – “moderate” hamstring strains are pretty much two-month injuries – outfielder Jake Marisnick is back tonight for the Cubs. With a lefty on the mound, he might even immediately draw a start. Starting pitcher Kohl Stewart was optioned back to Iowa to make room on the 26-man roster for Marisnick, which means the Cubs are back down to 13 pitchers.
Marisnick, 30, returns to a whopping .264/.350/.623 slash line (161 wRC+) in limited duty. He was raking when he got injured, and here’s hoping the timing is still there.
As for Stewart, he filled in for Trevor Williams (appendectomy) for a couple starts, one very good, one very mediocre, and he’ll continue to be in that next-man-up group of starters the Cubs are working with at Iowa. Stewart being optioned back down means either that the Cubs expect Williams to take his next start, or – as I speculated earlier – it’s possible Alec Mills is going to come back soon into the Cubs rotation (he’s been stretched out to six innings at Iowa).