Andrelton Simmons (shoulder) kicked off his rehab assignment at Iowa yesterday with a mostly complete game, including playing in the field at shortstop. The plan is for him to now DH today, and then he’ll be evaluated Monday (an off-day for the minor leagues) for what comes next.
It seems pretty unlikely that he’d immediately be ready to join the big league Cubs, but the only reason I would leave it a teeny tiny bit on the table is that he’s had a handful of games now under his belt between Iowa and extended Spring Training, and he has likely seen a lot of live batting practice in the interim. It’s not nearly the same thing as a normal Spring Training, but it’s also not nothing. And if Patrick Wisdom (ankle) winds up going on the Injured List, it’s conceivable the Cubs would ideally like to make it a one-for-one swap with Simmons, rather than have to figure out a short-term move while also playing Jonathan Villar more at third base.
That swap would also delay the need to make a decision on guys like Villar (who is likely here through July, at least) or Alfonso Rivas (please don’t send him down) or Michael Hermosillo (has not made a case to stay, unfortunately). Clint Frazier will be coming back in a week or two, I’d expect, so those decisions are coming anyway.
So I guess stay tuned on Wisdom, whose X-rays were negative and who might be good to go well before an IL stint is considered. But it’s possible the Cubs will sit him tonight regardless, and then decide what to do regarding the roster tomorrow (with more info on how Simmons looked and felt).
As for Simmons, the Cubs are going to want him back as soon as possible, both so that they can optimize infield defense (in certain starts, but also in certain late-game situations), and so that they could show baseball that he’s healthy and still elite defensively, in case there’s a (very minor) trade to be had later this year.