Joc activated in time for Dodgers series

May 4th, 2021

CHICAGO -- A few hours before Monday's scheduled game against the Dodgers, Cubs outfielder was behind home plate at Wrigley Field, chatting with some of his old teammates. He will have to wait a little longer to face his former club.

The Cubs activated Pederson from the 10-day injured list following his stint on the IL with left wrist tendinitis, but Monday's game was postponed due to inclement weather. Chicago will host Los Angeles in a split doubleheader on Tuesday.

"He's excited to be back. I know that," Cubs manager David Ross said on Monday. "He feels good. I haven't asked him specifically, but I'm sure he's excited to face his old team."

The Cubs and Dodgers will begin their twin bill at 1:20 p.m. CT at Wrigley Field, with the second game scheduled to follow at 6:40 p.m. CT as originally planned. Both games will be seven innings under MLB's guidelines.

In order to clear a spot on the active roster, Chicago optioned righty Keegan Thompson to the alternate training site, opting to carry an extra position player on the bench and reduce the bullpen to eight arms.

Pederson was placed on the IL on April 22 after starting his first season with the Cubs with a .137 average, one home run, four RBIs and a .498 OPS through 16 games.

While Pederson (Chicago's primary left fielder) was sidelined, the Cubs used in left. In Monday's planned lineup, Pederson was back in left and in the leadoff spot, while Bryant was listed to start in center field with sidelined.

Bryant took over in center late in Sunday's 13-12 loss to the Reds after Happ and infielder collided in shallow center. Monday would have marked Bryant's first start in center since April 23, 2015, during his rookie season.

"[Bryant] feels really comfortable in the outfield," Ross said. "Center is new for him, but I think he's up for the challenge and I feel comfortable with him out there."

Happ, Hoerner under evaluation
Happ and Hoerner were still being evaluated on Monday afternoon -- one day after their scary collision in shallow center field in Cincinnati.

"Both guys are really sore from a pretty intense collision," Ross said Monday. "I'll know much more when I talk to the trainers after they put them through all the tests and see the doctors."

Happ and Hoerner ran into each other while chasing down a fly ball from Tyler Stephenson in the eighth inning of Sunday's loss. Hoerner made the running catch, but struck Happ in the head and side as both players fell to the ground.

Ross said the Cubs' medical team was putting Happ and Hoerner through "the full gamut" of testing on Monday. The manager did not have any more specifics on the status of either player.

Worth noting
• Ross confirmed Monday that veteran reliever is taking some personal time away from the organization. The 35-year-old Strop appeared in two games with the Cubs last month, but he has since remained either on Chicago's taxi squad or assigned to the alternate training site.

"I have no way of knowing [when or if Strop will rejoin the Cubs]," Ross said. "He is taking his own personal time. I definitely hope Stropy gets back with us, but there's no way for me to know that."

• Cubs catcher was back in the planned lineup for Monday night's game, following two days off from starting due to tightness in his right thigh.

"I'm going to say it: He's a really underrated baseball player. He won the MVP, the Rookie of the Year and then arguably '17 was just as good. ... In this league, when you come on and you don't continue to somehow wow, and you just stay consistent, the next guy comes up and wows, or someone breaks out. But, meanwhile, KB's just been kind of steady."
-- , on , who was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday