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Cubs call up Bote, place Holland on injured list

@MLBastian
August 25, 2019

CHICAGO -- The Cubs could not afford to keep playing with a three-man bench in light of Anthony Rizzo's ongoing battle with back tightness. Prior to Sunday's game against the Nationals, Chicago recalled utility man David Bote from Triple-A Iowa to increase the available reinforcements. In order to add Bote

CHICAGO -- The Cubs could not afford to keep playing with a three-man bench in light of Anthony Rizzo's ongoing battle with back tightness. Prior to Sunday's game against the Nationals, Chicago recalled utility man David Bote from Triple-A Iowa to increase the available reinforcements.

In order to add Bote to the active roster, the Cubs placed left-handed reliever Derek Holland on the 10-day injured list with a left wrist contusion. Rizzo exited Saturday's 7-2 loss to Washington in the fifth inning with mid-back tightness and was out of the starting lineup on Sunday. With an off-day on Monday, the Cubs will give the first baseman some rest and re-evaluate his status for Tuesday's series opener against the Mets in New York.

Rizzo missed four games in May due to a similar back issue, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon noted that the latest setback is in a different area.

"He's still pretty sore, stiff, whatever," Maddon said on Sunday. "It's just in a little bit of a different spot. When I talked to him afterwards yesterday he was pretty optimistic, Anthony was. So, I'll just wait to see what [the medical staff and trainers] have to say."

Holland's issue stems from a sixth-inning comebacker off the bat of San Francisco's Brandon Crawford on Wednesday. The ball struck the reliever's wrist and deflected into right field for a single. Including that outing, Holland has allowed three runs on four hits with two walks in 1 2/3 innings over his past two appearances for the Cubs.

"He had stitch marks on his hand from that ball, too," Maddon said. "He's fine. We talked yesterday. It's a short period of time. When you have to do things like that this time of the year -- send somebody down or put somebody on the IL -- it's a little bit easier on them mentally, knowing that they're going to get back in a relatively short period of time."

Bote was optioned to Triple-A last Monday, but only appeared in three games for Iowa prior to being recalled. He was on the bench on Sunday, along with catcher Victor Caratini and infielder Tony Kemp. Ian Happ started at first base in Rizzo's place.

Jordan Bastian covers the Cubs for MLB.com. He previously covered the Indians from 2011-18 and the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.