Just like that, David Robertson is back! We learned earlier this afternoon that Robertson had been cleared to rejoin the team, but he hadn’t yet officially been activated off of the Injured List (where he’d been without a designation, which means he was on the COVID IL).
Now he’s been activated:
• RHP David Robertson activated from IL.
• RHP Mark Leiter Jr. optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
• OF Michael Hermosillo transferred to IL (no designation) from 10-day IL. That clears 40-man spot for Robertson.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 18, 2022
The Cubs obviously had to make room on the active roster for Robertson, so that’s why Leiter was optioned back to Iowa. But guys who are on the COVID IL also don’t count against the 40-man roster, so the Cubs were all full up there, too. That meant a corresponding 40-man move was required, thus Michael Hermosillo – who was already on the 10-day IL with a quad strain – was transferred to the COVID IL (but remember, they can’t call it that).
Hopefully the Cubs aren’t going to keep experiencing these pop-up COVID cases with accelerating spread, though we’re seeing that elsewhere in the country, so I suppose it might happen around baseball. In any case, may Hermosillo’s recovery be as smooth as Robertson’s and Marcus Stroman’s.
As for Robertson, he was pretty clearly the Cubs’ closer when he went on the IL, so we’ll see if he returns, undisputed, to that job (which had been held down by Rowan Wick in Robertson’s absence). He was looking mighty dominant in the early going (1.50 ERA, 2.83 FIP, 37.8% K rate, 13.3% BB rate), so here’s hoping that Robertson is no worse for the wear. He last appeared 11 days ago.