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Cubs activate Dansby Swanson from the injured list, recall Luis Vázquez from Triple-A Iowa

 The Associated Press  |    May 21st, 2024 4:12pm EDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Dansby Swanson tried to be helpful while he was on the 10-day injured list. Eventually, he ran out of patience.

“First few days was really nice. … It was just sit and watch baseball and chat through things,” he said. “Then I really started going crazy after a while, not being able to have a direct correlation to changing or affecting the game.”

No such worries now, not after Swanson was activated by the Chicago Cubs ahead of Tuesday’s game against Atlanta. The Gold Glove shortstop had two hits and scored a run in a 4-3 victory over the Braves — Swanson’s first big league team.

Second baseman Nico Hoerner also returned after missing six consecutive games because of left hamstring tightness. He hit a game-ending infield single in the 10th inning in the series opener.

“It’s never easy to miss games. I wish I could have been out there earlier,” Hoerner said. “But I’m glad I’m out there now, and feeling good.”

Swanson, 30, was placed on the IL on May 8 with a right knee sprain. He is batting .218 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 38 games in the second season of a $177 million, seven-year contract.

“I feel good. The medical staff’s done a great job over the last couple weeks,” Swanson said, “just helping me, how to rest, what to do to get back healthy and put myself in the best possible to be successful to help us win some games.”

The Cubs also announced that struggling right-hander Kyle Hendricks is moving from the rotation to the bullpen for now. It looks as if the team will go with a bullpen day for Thursday’s series finale against Atlanta.

The 34-year-old Hendricks, who is eligible for free agency after this season, is the last roster link to Chicago’s 2016 World Series championship. But he is 0-4 with a 10.57 ERA in seven starts this year.

“The goal still is to get Kyle on track and get him back in the rotation,” manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s absolutely what I’d like to do, yeah.”

Ben Brown, Hayden Wesneski and Jordan Wicks are among the rotation options for Chicago if Hendricks stays in the bullpen. Wicks, who is on the IL with a left forearm strain, threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and likely will go out on a rehab assignment this week.

Hendricks went on the IL last month with a low back strain. He returned on May 12 and pitched five effective innings at Pittsburgh, but he surrendered seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Pirates on Friday.

“I think with Kyle, I think he’s had some success first time through the order, and then after that it’s gotten pretty dicey,” president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “I think this gives him a chance to work through some stuff.”

The Cubs also recalled infielder Luis Vázquez from Triple-A Iowa before the win against the Braves. Outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong and infielder Miles Mastrobuoni were sent down.

Crow-Armstrong, 22, one of the team’s top prospects, has outstanding defensive skills, but is still working on his approach at the plate. He is batting .236 with a homer and nine RBIs in 23 games with Chicago this year.

“Offensively, I obviously think at this point he needs to play every day, be down there, get at-bats,” Hoyer said. “But I thought, compared to last year, I thought his ability to battle against major league pitching was much better.”

The addition of the 24-year-old Vázquez gives Counsell another option if Swanson or Hoerner needs additional rest as they get up to speed after their injuries.

It’s the first major league promotion for Vázquez, who hit .262 with 10 doubles and three homers in 39 games with Iowa this season. He played shortstop, second base and third in the minors.

“I feel like I can play any position,” Vázquez said through a translator. “I feel like one of my strengths is my defense, so I feel like I’m very versatile.”


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The Associated Press