Codi Heuer’s road back from Tommy John surgery continued with another rehab appearance for Triple-A Iowa on Saturday. According to Cubs manager David Ross, he threw “really well.” Over 1 1⁄3 innings, Heuer struck out two and allowed no hits or runs against the Nashville Sounds.
“Getting to the back end of his rehab,” Ross said before Sunday’s 8-5 loss to the Reds. “I think he still feels like he’s just a tick off and wants to lock in his mechanics and strike-throwing. Seems to be getting better every single day. When he’s comfortable and his date’s up, I’m sure we’ll see him at some point soon after he feels great.”
The 6-foot-5 right-hander was acquired along with Nick Madrigal in the 2021 trade that sent Craig Kimbrel to the White Sox. A hard thrower who pitched to a 3.56 ERA across 86 appearances in his first two major-league seasons, he would boost a bullpen that has struggled since mid-May.
“He’s had success at this level, right? And in a big market. I think his mindset, his mentality will be really good for that group,” Ross said. “The arm obviously is electric stuff when he’s in the zone when he’s healthy.”
Heuer is eligible to come off the injured list on Monday. Ross said next steps will be determined collaboratively with the pitcher.
Drew Smyly logged his 1,000th career inning with a scoreless bottom of the first on Sunday, neutralizing a one-out single with a double-play.
But what ensued was the trusty southpaw’s roughest outing in nearly two months.
Smyly entered 5-0 with a 2.13 ERA in his past nine starts, but lasted just 4 ⅔ innings and was responsible for five earned runs on Sunday. It is the first time the 33-year-old allowed more than two runs in an appearance since April 3, his first start of the campaign, when these same Reds tagged him for six runs in 4 ⅔ innings.
“OK, I guess,” Smyly said of his performance. “The Reds are a team that grinds people, they just grind the pitchers. They’re not going to slug you and hit a bunch of homers. But they don’t chase, they take their singles, they steal bases. You saw it all weekend.”
Patrick Wisdom snapped an 0-for-15 skid with a single on Saturday, then supplied all of the Cubs’ offense on Sunday.
After the hosts fell behind 2-0 in the second inning, Wisdom belted a 424-foot, three-run home run that nearly touched Waveland off of Reds starter Graham Ashcraft. It was his first since May 10 after clubbing 12 homers in his first 33 games.
Six innings later, Wisdom connected again on a 371-foot blast that trimmed an 8-3 deficit to 8-5. He now has three multi-homer games this season.
“It felt good. Made some adjustments and hit the ball forward,” Wisdom said. “But it’s tough when you come out on the losing end.”
On the mend
Reliever Brad Boxberger, who has been out since May 13 with a strained forearm, played catch for the first time on Sunday.
Center fielder Cody Bellinger (knee contusion) is progressing, according to Ross, but not running yet. With seven home runs and an .830 OPS through 37 appearances, his bat has been missed since going down on May 15.