9/1 Roster moves – UPDATED
The Cubs activated third baseman Luis Valbuena and outfielder Ryan Sweeney from the disabled list and called up right-handed pitcher Alberto Cabrera on Sunday. To make room on the 40 man for Sweeney, pitcher Eduardo Sanchez was designated for assignment. Expect a few more players to be added after the Minor League season ends Monday.
Sweeney, 28, returns after suffering a left rib fracture when he crashed into the center field wall June 29 in Seattle. He was batting .295 at the time with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 44 games.
“To be able to play every day again was huge,” Sweeney said of the opportunity he had before he was injured. “To have a freak thing happen like that is definitely not something you want to have happen.”
Will he be careful in the outfield?
“I’ll remain aggressive,” he said. “It’s a bone that should be healed. I’m still going to run into the wall if I have to — unfortunately.”
Dale Sveum plans to rotate Sweeney, Brian Bogusevic, Junior Lake and Nate Schierholtz in the outfield, with Schierholtz getting the majority of playing time against right-handed pitchers.
Valbuena, 27, was placed on the disabled list on Aug. 4 with a right oblique strain. He was batting .225 with 13 doubles, nine home runs and 31 RBIs in 89 games. He will share third with Donnie Murphy, who led the team with eight home runs in August, and Cody Ransom.
“I want to finish strong, that’s what I’m looking for now,” Valbuena said. “Everybody works a lot and everybody’s focused to win the last month and have a good record. That’s important right now.”
Cabrera, 24, returns for his second season with the Cubs after splitting this year with Double-A Tennessee and Iowa. He combined to go 10-6 with a 3.79 ERA in 33 appearances, including 18 starts. He made his Major League debut with the Cubs last August, going 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 25 relief appearances.
– Carrie Muskat