The Cubs have placed infielder/outfielder Nico Hoerner on the 10-day injured list, designated right-hander Shelby Miller for assignment and selected the contract of outfielder Rafael Ortega, Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago was among those to report.
Hoerner suffered a left hamstring strain earlier this week, forcing the team to place him on the shelf for the second time this month. He missed time earlier with a left forearm strain, but a healthy version of Hoerner has been a standout this season. Even though the 24-year-old hasn’t homered in 84 plate appearances, he has made up for it with a .338/.405/.432 line and a paltry strikeout percentage of 14.3. Hoerner has also seen some time and both middle infield positions and all three outfield spots, though he has primarily lined up at the keystone. The Cubs figure to use a combination of Eric Sogard and David Bote at second while Hoerner’s out.
Miller, 30, is a former star hurler whose career fell off course in 2016 after a trade to Arizona, and he hasn’t been able to get back on track since then. Injuries have been part of the problem along the way, and Miller was on the IL with a back problem before the Cubs designated him. They signed Miller to a minor league contract last winter but have only gotten two disastrous innings of seven-run, seven-hit, five-walk ball from him.
Ortega, also 30, has past MLB experience with a handful of teams, though he has slumped to a .229/.287/.290 line in 447 plate appearances at the game’s top level. He has, however, hit a much more effective .294/.368/.447 with 39 home runs and 86 stolen bases across 2,232 trips to the plate in Triple-A.