CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs scratched Marcus Stroman for Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and then lost Justin Steele to a left hand injury.
Stroman was placed on the injured list without a designation, likely meaning the right-hander was shelved by a COVID-19-related issue.
Stroman pitched seven sparkling innings in a 2-0 victory at Milwaukee last weekend. He is 1-3 with a 5.13 ERA in his first season in Chicago after finalizing a $71 million, three-year contract on Dec. 1.
Steele stepped in, making his first appearance since April 30. But he was checked on by manager David Ross and a trainer before the fifth inning, and then walked off the mound after a short conversation.
The team said he departed with left thumb soreness.
Steele was slated to pitch Monday night at San Diego, but Kyle Hendricks will make that start against the Padres instead.
The Cubs also optioned struggling first baseman Frank Schwindel to Triple-A Iowa and promoted right-hander Adrian Sampson from the minors. Sampson went 1-2 with a 2.80 ERA in 10 appearances with Chicago last year, including five starts.
The 29-year-old Schwindel was a bright spot for the Cubs last year, batting .342 with 13 homers and 40 RBIs in 56 games after he was claimed off waivers from Oakland. But he has struggled of late, hitting .186 (13 for 70) over his last 19 games.
“Somebody that we believe in, but need him to kind of get going a little bit,” Ross said. “Get down there, work on some things, take a little bit of the pressure off, and let him continue to get back to what we expect him to be and what he expects himself to be.”