Cubs place lefty Smyly on 15-day IL with strained oblique

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs placed left-hander Drew Smyly on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of a strained right oblique.

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs placed left-hander Drew Smyly on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of a strained right oblique.

The Cubs also activated outfielder Jason Heyward from the injured list and right-hander Michael Rucker from the 15-day IL. Outfielder Nelson Velázquez was optioned to Triple-A Iowa, and right-hander Manuel Rodriguez was recalled from Iowa and placed on the 60-day injured list because of a strained right elbow.

The Cubs had no timeline on when Smyly will resume baseball activities, though manager David Ross said he is feeling better than the images taken would indicate.

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Drew Smyly throws against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader, Monday, May 30, 2022, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (AP Photo/Mark Black)

“I think he’s had a little bit of this before and feels like it may not be that bad,” Ross said.

Smyly exited at the start of the fourth inning in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader sweep by the Milwaukee Brewers after tossing three hitless innings. He has been one of Chicago’s most reliable starters, with a 3.80 ERA in nine outings.

Heyward, a five-time Gold Glove winner, figures to play mostly in right field with Seiya Suzuki sidelined because of a sprained left ring finger. He was batting .208 before being placed on the IL with no designation on May 17.

Rucker — sidelined since May 16 because of left turf toe — had a 4.20 ERA in eight relief appearances prior to Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee.

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