The Cubs’ bats broke out nicely last night, but obviously the team is still far from being full strength. But in addition to the two guys everyone asks about – Nico Hoerner and Matt Duffy – let’s also check in on the others currently on the IL …
Up front with with those two – there’s no status change. Hoerner (hamstring) is still on track for a rehab assignment in the next week or so, which would allow you to hope on a return to the big league team in early July. Duffy (back) is behind Hoerner at this point after having to pull back a bit in his ramp up. I would say you’re waiting on an on-field update with respect to Duffy before trying to guess on when he might start a rehab assignment.
David Bote (shoulder) is taking batting practice, grounders, throws across the diamond, etc. (Daily Herald). There still isn’t a timeline on a rehab assignment, but if he’s doing all of that, it means that shoulder is already responding well. I don’t think it would be crazy to hope for a rehab assignment around or after Hoerner/Duffy.
Justin Steele (hamstring) is getting really close to a rehab assignment after another bullpen session that sounds like it was normal (Daily Herald). It wouldn’t surprise me if we hear about him heading out to Iowa in the next few days.
Trevor Williams (appendectomy) is also close, having thrown off the mound, taken batting practice, etc. David Ross told the Daily Herald that Williams will come with the Cubs to Los Angeles this weekend to continue work, and then it’s possible he’d go on a rehab assignment from there. He’ll have to build his innings back up, and you would expect at least two minor league starts to that end, but pro-ssibly three. At that point, the next time through would be just before the All-Star break, so if the Cubs want to play it conservative, you wouldn’t see Williams back in the rotation until after the break. That’s kind of unfortunate timing given the need, but it’s definitely better to get him back before the Trade Deadline just to give yourself an opportunity to be squeezed a little less in trade talks.
PFP for Trevor Williams and Justin Steele this afternoon, as they continue through their respective rehab programs. pic.twitter.com/Z7JaeLxcMB
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 22, 2021
As for the rest of the IL’d Cubs – Dillon Maples (triceps), Rowan Wick (oblique), Austin Romine (wrist), P.J. Higgins (forearm), Jonathan Holder (shoulder) – there are no updates.
You know, in hindsight, it really sucks that the Cubs’ toughest stretch on the schedule has coincided perfectly with their most injured stretch. Just gotta keep grinding their way through.