File Photo: Benny Sieu / USAT
File Photo: Benny Sieu / USAT

Cubs make several roster moves including activating Jason Hayward from IL

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CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today activated outfielder Jason Heyward from the injured list and right-handed pitcher Michael Rucker from the 15-day injured list. In corresponding moves, left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly has been placed on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to May 31) with a right oblique strain and outfielder Nelson Velázquez has been optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Additionally, right-handed pitcher Manuel Rodríguez has been recalled from Triple-A Iowa and placed on the 60-day injured list with a right elbow strain.

Heyward, 32, appeared in 27 games for Chicago this season before being placed on the injured list on May 17. He is hitting .208 (15-for-72) with two doubles, one triple and four RB

The left-handed hitting Heyward is in his seventh season with the Cubs since signing with the club prior to the team’s 2016 World Series championship campaign. In 723 games for Chicago, he has batted .246 (605-for-2,457) with 108 doubles, 18 triples and 283 RBI with 269 walks.

Rucker, 28, landed on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to May 17) on May 19 with left turf toe. The righthander owns no record with a 4.20 ERA (7 ER/15.0 IP) in eight relief appearances for Chicago this season after making his first career Opening Day roster.

The Columbus, Miss. native tossed a scoreless inning May 28 versus the Memphis Redbirds during a rehab assignment, allowing one hit, a walk and striking out one batter out of the five that he faced.

Smyly, 32, is 2-5 with a 3.80 ERA (18 ER/42.2 IP) in nine starts for Chicago this season. He has walked 10, struck out 34 and produced a 1.27 WHIP. He was placed on the bereavement list May 3 and later reinstated May 7, compiling a 1-3 record with a 4.63 ERA (12 ER/23.1 IP) in five starts being reinstated.

Velázquez, 23, hit .286 (2-for-7) after making his major league debut May 30, starting at right field in both games of a split doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Rodríguez, 25, allowed four runs in two innings pitched over two relief appearances with Triple-A Iowa this season.

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