Cubs activate Bryant, Russell from DL, make several other roster moves


Talk about receiving a boost.

The Cubs announced several roster moves ahead of Saturday night's game against the Phillies, including the return of Kris Bryant and Addison Russell from the 10-day disabled list. While Russell is not in Saturday's lineup, Bryant is batting fifth and playing third base.

The team also recalled reliever James Norwood from Triple-A Iowa and added outfielder Terrance Gore and catcher Taylor Davis from Iowa. To make room for Gore and Davis on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated Luke Farrell and Rob Zastryzny for assignment.

Of course, Bryant's return is the most important, as the former-MVP should only help an offense that scored 113 runs in August, 22nd-best in the MLB.

Bryant last played July 23 when he went 0-for-4 against the Diamondbacks. In 76 games this season, he is hitting .276 with a .380 on-base percentage (second-best on the Cubs to Ben Zobrist) and an .854 OPS, only trailing Javier Báez.

The Cubs went an impressive 21-14 in Bryant's latest absence (he missed time between June 22 and July 11 as well) thanks to the steady contributions of Báez and the newly-acquired Daniel Murphy. Báez hit .288 with 7 home runs and 16 RBIs in August, while Murphy is hitting .317 in nine games since joining the Cubs on Aug. 22.

Bryant's absence has obviously been big, but especially since David Bote has struggled in his place as of late. While Bote has come up clutch numerous times for the Cubs this season, he hit .187 in August and is in the midst of a 1-for-19 stretch. Bryant and Russell returning could allow Bote to work out any issues he might be dealing with at the plate.

Russell is hitting .216 in 27 games post-All-Star break, though the hope is that his DL stint helped heal the nagging finger and shoulder injuries he has been dealing with.

The Cubs acquired Gore from the Royals on Aug. 15. He has just 11 big-league at-bats to his name but has stolen 21 bases (as well as four in the postseason). He was a key contributor to the Royals' playoff runs in 2014 and 2015. 


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