The Cubs had a vested interest in a game going on Sunday afternoon at Principal Park, even more than usual.
Three Cubs were in Iowa on rehab assignment in the I-Cubs’ 6-1 win against the Omaha Storm Chasers on Sunday: pitchers Trevor Williams (appendectomy) and Justin Steele (hamstring strain), and second baseman Nico Hoerner (hamstring strain).
“Getting some of those pieces back will be really important,” Cubs manager David Ross said.
Hoerner made the first Triple-A appearance of his career Sunday, after being fast-tracked to the big-leagues in 2019 and then spending the beginning of this season at the alternate site.
Hoerner played second base for four innings Sunday and went 1-for-2 at the plate. He lined the first pitch he saw to the left side of the infield for a leadoff single.
Williams started for the I-Cubs and threw two scoreless innings, striking out two. Steele pitched one inning of relief, in the seventh, and gave up one run on a solo homer.
The Cubs haven't given a return date for any of the three. But with injuries similar to Hoerner's, Jake Marisnick and Jason Heyward each played two rehab games before returning from the IL earlier this month. Hoerner will likely need at least that many. The Iowa Cubs have an off day Monday before heading to Indianapolis for a six-game series.