The Chicago Cubs made a lineswap ahead of their scheduled doubleheader on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Right-hander Jake Arrieta (thumb), infielder Nico Hoerner (strained forearm), and reliever Dan Winkler (triceps) were all placed on the injured list while lefty reliever Kyle Ryan, infielder Ildemaro Vargas, and right-hander Keegan Thompson were recalled to replace them on the active roster.
Each of the losses is notable in their own way. Arrieta, who leads the staff in innings pitched, had recorded three quality starts in six tries in his return to Chicago. Meanwhile, Hoerner has hit for a 196 OPS+ in 44 plate appearances since being recalled from the alternate site, and Winkler has yet to allow a run in 10 innings.
Hoerner suffered his injury as part of a collision on Sunday with Ian Happ. Happ, who was carted off the field afterward, cleared concussion protocol.
Of the three additions, Thompson is the one most certain to play a notable role, if only because he'll be making his first start in the majors in Game 2 on Tuesday. Thompson just made his big-league debut over the weekend, throwing a shutout inning against the Cincinnati Reds despite allowing a walk and a pair of singles on 13 pitches.
Between the recency of that appearance and the shortened nature of doubleheaders during the pandemic era, it's safe to assume Thompson will be working a short start. It's worth noting that, while he primarily threw breaking balls against the Reds, his fastball clocked in around 96 mph, which is higher than he typically sits.
If Thompson can maintain that velocity gain, it's possible that he can improve his projection from that of a utility arm. Baseball America named Thompson's control as the best in the system coming into the season.