Cubs DFA Hosmer, activate Hoerner in series of roster moves

Cubs DFA Hosmer, activate Hoerner in series of roster moves originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Cubs have made a series of roster moves ahead of their series opener in Philadelphia Friday, notably reinstating Nico Hoerner from the injured list while designating first baseman Eric Hosmer for assignment, the team announced.

Additionally, the Cubs have selected the contract of outfield Mike Tauchman and recalled infielder Edwin Ríos, both from AAA Iowa.

In corresponding roster moves, the Cubs have placed outfielder Cody Bellinger on the 10-day injured list retroactive to May 16 with a left knee contusion. Right-handed reliever Keegan Thompson has been optioned to AAA Iowa.

The Cubs appear to be moving from Hosmer after signing the veteran first baseman on league-minimum salary, thanks to an eight-year contract he signed with the San Diego Padres prior to the 2018 season.

While aiming for a veteran presence ahead of the eventual debut of Matt Mervis, Hosmer’s performance was underwhelming on the North Side, registering just a 67 OPS+ with five extra-base hits and 14 driven in across 31 games.

Hosmer’s performance thus far in 2023 fell below replacement level, recording a -0.4 WAR according to Baseball Reference.

The 33-year-old will now look to catch on with another club, with teams potentially being interested in Hosmer’s championship experience as a bench option.

The return of Nico Hoerner is welcome news for Cubs fans, as the infielder got off to a torrid start in 2023. While cooling down from a sizzling first few weeks, Hoerner still holds a .303/.348/.395 offensive line with 46 hits and 12 stolen bases.

Hoerner will be batting leadoff Friday night for the Cubs.

Edwin Ríos will be returning for his second stint with the big-league club this year, though the infielder saw limited playing time in his first go-around.

In 12 games, Ríos was 2-for-20 with a home run and a double, in addition to drawing five walks.

Mike Tauchman, whose contract was selected, will be looking to see his first big-league action since 2021.

Previously appearing in five consecutive big league seasons from 2017 to 2021 with the Rockies, Yankees and Giants respectively, the 32-year-old is 22-for-79 with seven extra-base hits with AAA Iowa in 2023.

Tauchman spent 2022 with the Korean Baseball Organization, hitting .289/.366/.430 in 144 games with the Hanwha Eagles.

Cody Bellinger unfortunately will not avoid a stint on the injured list, interrupting what has appeared to be a return to form for the former MVP.

In 37 games, Bellinger has posted a 124 OPS+, totaling 17 extra-base hits and nine stolen bases. He will be eligible to return on Friday, May 26 vs. the Cincinnati Reds.

Keegan Thompson will look to regain his footing at AAA Iowa after a particularly inconsistent stretch of games, punctuated by a disastrous outing on Wednesday night that saw the right-hander fail to record an out in a 7-6 loss to the Houston Astros.

Holding a 4.22 ERA in 15 appearances this year, Thompson has 14 walks and 16 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched.

Thompson spent nearly all of last season with the big-league club, making a single start with the I-Cubs in his latest appearance with the club.

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