Injuries & Moves: Ríos to IL; Rucker recalled

12:59 AM UTC


June 7: INF Edwin Ríos placed on IL; RHP Michael Rucker recalled from Triple-A Iowa
Ríos landed on the 10-day injured list on Wednesday (retroactive to June 4) due to a left groin strain. In 18 games with the Cubs this season, Ríos has gone just 2-for-28 at the plate as a part-time corner infielder, designated hitter and pinch-hitter.

Rucker, 29, returns to the Cubs' bullpen after posting a 5.48 ERA with 25 strikeouts and nine walks in 23 innings in the Majors earlier this season. The righty had a 2.45 ERA in his first 16 appearances for Chicago before allowing 10 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings in four outings in late May.


10-day and 15-day IL

OF (left knee contusion)
Expected return:
Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer indicated on June 6 that Bellinger would head out on a Minor League rehab assignment (timing and affiliate TBD) prior to coming off the IL. Said Hoyer: "Certainly he's been out long enough, he's going to need it. And he probably needs it mentally as well."

Bellinger has resumed taking batting practice on the field and began adding running/agility work during the recent series in San Diego. The center fielder said on June 4 it was probably "too aggressive" for him to return before the end of the current road trip. Bellinger landed awkwardly while making a leaping catch May 15 and was placed on the IL on May 19 (retroactive to May 16). (Last updated: June 6)

INF Edwin Ríos (left groin strain)
Expected return: TBD
The Cubs placed Ríos on the 10-day IL on June 7 (retroactive to June 4) due to the groin issue. The part-time corner infielder, designated hitter and pinch-hitter has gone just 2-for-28 in the batter's box while dealing with sporadic playing time. The timetable for his return is unclear. (Last updated: June 7)

RHP (right forearm strain)
Expected return:
Boxberger was scheduled to throw a bullpen session on June 7 at Angel Stadium. The righty resumed playing catch on May 28 after imaging on his right forearm/elbow revealed no structural damage, according to manager David Ross.

Boxberger landed on the 15-day IL on May 15. Ross noted that a groin issue earlier this season led to some delivery flaws, which may have contributed to the arm discomfort. Boxberger was sitting around 92-93 mph with his fastball in early April, but saw his velocity dip to 90-91 mph in more recent outings. (Last updated: June 7)

LHP Justin Steele (left forearm strain)
Expected return:
Tentatively June 17
Steele has continued to regularly play catch with no issues since being placed on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to June 1) due to a "mild" strain of his forearm. He was slated to do a light "touch and feel" mound workout on June 7. Steele will miss two starts while shelved and, barring any setbacks, is lined up to return for a start against the Orioles on June 17, per manager David Ross. Steele will throw a couple full bullpen sessions before coming off the IL. (Last updated: June 7)

RHP (appendectomy)
Expected return: TBD
The 30-year-old Burdi underwent an appendectomy on May 24, and was placed on the 15-day injured list while he recovers. Burdi had made three appearances for the Cubs since being promoted the prior week. (Last updated: May 24)

60-day IL

RHP (right elbow surgery)
Expected return: June
The Cubs were granted an extension to Heuer's Minor League rehab stint, giving the righty more time to sort through some issues before activation. Through 11 outings with Triple-A Iowa, Heuer has consistently reached 97-99 mph with his fastball, but struggled with control. In 10 innings, he has 12 strikeouts with 10 runs allowed on 10 hits and eight walks. He had one strikeout in one clean inning in an eight-pitch rehab outing on June 6.  Heuer underwent Tommy John surgery (full reconstruction with an internal brace) on March 7, 2022.

"We just want him to be right when he comes up," Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. "He's struggled with command a little bit, especially command with the offspeed. The velocity has been there. But we want to make sure he's really right when it comes up. And he wasn't quite there yet. And Tommy John rehabs are a fickle thing." (Last updated: June 7)

RHP Ethan Roberts (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return:
Late 2023 or '24
Roberts posted a video on Twitter on May 30 that showed him throwing off a mound, along with the message: "Day 320 was a good day." The 25-year-old reliever underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last July 13. Roberts appeared in nine games for the Cubs early in 2022 before arm issues derailed his campaign. (Last updated: March 30)

RHP (right knee)
Expected return: TBD
The Cubs announced that Sampson underwent a meniscal debridement on his right knee on May 5. The pitcher's timetable for return is undetermined. Sampson, 31, was a candidate for a rotation job this spring after logging a 3.11 ERA in 104 1/3 innings for the Cubs last season, which included a 1.71 ERA in his last eight turns.

The righty struggled in the spring and then posted an 8.64 ERA with 10 walks in 8 1/3 innings with Triple-A Iowa before being shelved due to injury issues. Sampson was recalled by Chicago and placed on the 15-day IL on May 4. He was transferred to the 60-day IL on May 15. (Last updated: May 15)