Frank Schwindel Activated, Andrelton Simmons Shuffled to 10-Day IL

The Cubs have activated Frank Schwindel from the 10-day injured list and placed Andrelton Simmons on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder strain that held him back at the start of the season and has hampered him since. You’ll be totally gobsmacked to learn that the designation is retroactive to July 11, meaning the Cubs have been playing a man down over the last two games.

When you think about it, though, that might be better than having Simmons in the lineup. This feels like one of those moves they’re making simply because it allows them to open a spot without a DFA, even though letting Simmons go would probably make more sense at this point.

Schwindel was placed on the injured list on June 18 with a low back strain, which means his stint there lasted about 25 days longer than his demotion earlier in the season. He has played in 62 games so far and is batting .237 with 10 doubles, eight home runs, and 33 RBI. In five rehab games with Triple-A Iowa, five more than he played during that demotion, Schwindel had a homer and one other hit.

The first baseman has been very inconsistent this season, part of which might be due to the back issue. And hey, maybe he tweaked it flying coach to San Diego after being sent to Iowa and never actually playing there. After getting off to a very slow start, Schwindel got hot for a while and then sort of settled back in. He hit .278 with a 99 wRC+ over 61 June plate appearances, so he was basically a league-average producer.

Simmons has appeared in 34 games for the Cubs this season, batting .173 with a double and seven RBI. His -0.3 fWAR is tied with Yan Gomes and Jason Heyward for 13th on the team (min. 50 PAs), but it’s better than the -0.7 Jonathan Villar put up.

Schwindel is not in the lineup Thursday as the Cubs open their final series of the first half against the Mets. He is, however, available out of the bullpen.

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