With Mondays an off-day for all of Minor League Baseball, it would’ve been a pretty normal plan to see some or all of the rehabbing Cubs hit up the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on Tuesday to begin their work. But then again, since Monday is an off-day anyway, it would be nice to get guys going on Sunday if possible – especially the pitchers, who’ll need rest time anyway for sure. Speaking of which, each of Trevor Williams and Justin Steele got in their work yesterday for Iowa, with a safe and healthy two innings for Williams, and one for Steele. Each figures to be stretched out further from here.
But they weren’t the only ones getting underway on Sunday – Nico Hoerner also hit up Iowa for a couple at bats and a half-game in the field. Turns out, he didn’t have to get going that quickly if he’d preferred not to make two trips:
In today’s @DMRsports: The Cubs gave Nico Hoerner two options: He could have Sunday and Monday off and join the @IowaCubs in Indianapolis on Tuesday. Or he could get to work right away. Knowing the Cubs miss his bat, Hoerner opted to show up in IA Sunday. https://t.co/KsTODFO4DB
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) June 28, 2021
Hoerner, who has been out for a month with a hamstring strain, is obviously very eager to get back to business with the big league Cubs, and since these kinds of rehab stints usually go “half-game, off-day, full-game” to begin, it’s kinda like he saved himself and the Cubs two days by making the side trip to Des Moines. Naturally he hit a couple line drives in his two at bats.
“I wanted to come today just to kind of get the ball rolling and get the first game under my belt and just start the process because I felt ready physically,” Hoerner said. “And I’ve got to see Iowa, right?”
You’ll recall, Hoerner’s unique development path – complete with an urgent need at the big league level a couple years ago and then a pandemic that impacted multiple seasons – left him having missed Iowa multiple times. So yesterday’s game was his first, and maybe only, appearance there ever. Nice for the local fans to get to see him a bit!
Everyone rests today, and then the Iowa Cubs head to Indianapolis for a set. Hoerner will probably get in at least another couple games, but it’s at least conceivable at this point that he could be back with the Cubs by this weekend if everything was feeling and responding well.