Notes: Báez out of lineup; bullpen moves

April 27th, 2021

was running on the pitch in the seventh inning on Sunday. Then the Cubs' star shortstop grabbed at the back of his left leg upon reaching second base.

At the time, Báez was checked by Cubs manager David Ross and a member of Chicago's medical team, but the All-Star shortstop stayed in and finished the game against the Brewers. On Monday, Ross took no chances and gave Báez a day off.

"He's a little sore today. I checked in with him," Ross said ahead of Monday's game against the Braves. "We want to be cautious with a little bit of the hammy tightness. He feels like he could play.

"I think, when I ever see hesitation like that from a player, I think it's just safer to give him a day [off]."

Ross noted that Báez went through some on-field work at Truist Park in Atlanta and still felt some "tightness" in his leg. The shortstop will receive treatment on Monday and Ross said he will "reassess" how Báez feels before Tuesday's contest.

Ross did not rule out using Báez as a pinch-hitter Monday night if absolutely necessary.

With Báez out of the lineup, Ross shook things up slightly, moving out of the leadoff spot and into the No. 5 hole. That, in turn, gave Ross an opportunity to take a look at as the Cubs' leadoff hitter against the Braves.

"We'll see how it goes," Ross said. "Really, this was -- without Javy in there -- seeing what we could do with the lineup, and mix and match some things."

Bullpen moves: Adam out, Megill in
Following a rough performance by right-hander on Sunday, the Cubs made a change in their bullpen.

Adam was optioned to the alternate training site in South Bend, Ind., and right-hander had his contract selected by the Cubs. Adam (9.45 ERA in eight appearances this year) faced six batters without recording an out in a five-run ninth inning on Sunday against the Brewers.

"It's the secondary stuff that just it doesn't seem like he can find, to me," Ross said. "It's a hard enough game, trying to execute pitches when you've only got one fastball. It makes it difficult to pitch out there, I don't care how hard you're throwing."

The Cubs selected the 27-year-old Megill in the Rule 5 Draft from the Padres in 2019 and worked out a deal with San Diego to keep the 6-foot-8 righty last July. This spring, Megill had a 4.32 ERA with 12 strikeouts and two walks in 8 1/3 innings for Chicago.

Megill picked up where he left off this spring in Monday's 8-7 loss, logging one shutout frame in his MLB debut. In the sixth, the righty struck out two -- including Ozzie Albies for his first career punchout -- and sidestepped the potential harm of a hit and walk allowed.

"He threw the ball well in spring," Ross said. "He's somebody that was definitely on the radar to even make the team. He's been doing great in South Bend -- attacking hitters, throwing strikes. The secondary pitches have been in the zone."

Worth noting
• In order to clear a 40-man roster spot for Megill, the Cubs transferred right-hander Rowan Wick (left oblique) to the 60-day injured list. Ross noted that Wick had encountered soreness during recovery days between mound sessions.

"Things were going, progressing really fast," Ross said. "Some of the oblique stuff popped back up just from a soreness standpoint. So we just slowed him down a little bit. It just makes more sense."

• Prior to Monday's game, the Cubs also placed catcher Austin Romine on the 10-day injured list with a left wrist sprain. It marks the second IL stint this season for Romine, who had a right knee issue flare up during Spring Training.

• With Romine out, catcher Tony Wolters had his contract selected from the alternate training site. The Cubs transferred righty Jonathan Holder (right shoulder) to the 60-day IL to clear a roster spot for Wolters.

• Longtime Cubs radio voice Pat Hughes is scheduled to return to the TV booth for Marquee Sports Network for Sunday's road game against the Reds.

"These pitchers are absolutely ridiculous. Sometimes you go up there and you're just pulling out your lightsaber, and you're just trying to hit anything that comes your way. That's what it is nowadays. I enjoy some of the talks of the changes, when it comes to what we're trying to do to get more offense in the game.

"I think there needs to be some changes, because it's crazy. It's absolutely insane what some of these pitchers are able to do." -- Kris Bryant