SAN DIEGO – The Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of infielder Nico Hoerner from Double-A Tennessee and recalled right-handed pitcher James Norwood from Triple-A Iowa. To make room for Hoerner on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Randy Rosario was designated for assignment. In addition, right-handed pitcher Adbert Alzolay was optioned to the Single-A South Bend roster following yesterday’s game.
Both Hoerner, who will wear number two, and Norwood will be available for the Cubs tonight when they begin their four-game series at the San Diego Padres. Chicago’s active roster now stands at 36 players.
Hoerner, 22, was Chicago’s first-round selection (24th overall) in the 2018 Draft out of Stanford University and becomes the first member of that draft class to join any major league roster. He is currently the club’s top prospect according to MLB Pipeline and is ranked by Baseball America as the 40th-best prospect across all of baseball. Hoerner is the first Cubs prospect to make the jump from Double-A to the majors since Kyle Schwarber in 2015.
The right-handed hitter batted .284 (76-for-268) with 16 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 22 RBI with Tennessee this season, as Hoerner was limited to 70 games due to a left wrist fracture (he was out from April 24-July 3). Hoerner posted a .344 on-base percentage and a .399 slugging percentage with Tennessee, good for a .743 OPS. This season at Double-A, he saw action at shortstop (44 games), second base (16 games) and center field (11 games).
Hoerner is a career .297 hitter (100-for-337) with 19 doubles, five triples, five home runs, 28 RBI and a .793 OPS in 89 games in the Cubs minor league system the last two seasons. He was named a 2018 Arizona Fall League Rising Star after batting .337 (30-for-89) with four doubles, four triples, one homer, 11 RBI and an .867 OPS in 21 games for the Mesa Solar Sox. Hoerner is a native of Oakland, Calif., and is a graduate of Head-Royce School in Oakland.
Norwood, 25, joins the Cubs for the fourth time this season, as he tossed a scoreless inning of relief vs. Cincinnati during a previous stay on May 24. Norwood went 3-2 with six saves and a 4.21 ERA (27 ER/57.2 IP) in 45 relief outings with Iowa this year. He struck out 81 batters and walked 31 in 57.2 innings while limiting foes to a .195 batting average against.
Including the playoffs, Norwood posted a 0.60 ERA (1 ER/15.0 IP) in his final 11 Triple-A outings, covering 15.0 innings, with 20 strikeouts and six walks in this span. The righthander made his major league debut with the Cubs last year and went 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA (5 ER/11.0 IP) in 11 relief appearances. He was originally selected by the Cubs in the seventh round of the 2014 Draft out of St. Louis University.
Alzolay, 24, went 1-1 with a 7.30 ERA (10 ER/12.1 IP) in four appearances (two starts) with the Cubs this year, his first major league stint. He went 2-4 with a 4.41 ERA (32 ER/65.1 IP) in 15 starts with Iowa this season.
Rosario, 25, went 1-0 with a 5.91 ERA (7 ER/10.2 IP) in 13 relief appearances with the Cubs this season. With Iowa, he went 1-2 with four saves and a 3.11 ERA (13 ER/37.2 IP) in 31 relief outings this year.