IL Activations: Hughes, Nootbaar, Kepler, Lorenzen

MLB Trade Rumors

Catching up on notable players returning from the injured list today…


  • The Cubs activated left-hander Brandon Hughes from the 15-day IL, and outfielder Nelson Velazquez was optioned to Triple-A to create roster space.  Hughes was bothered by inflammation in his left knee during Spring Training, so Chicago placed him on the IL prior to Opening Day so Hughes could recover and then complete his ramp-up progress.  In an impressive rookie season, Hughes posted a 3.12 ERA and an above-average 28.3% strikeout rate (albeit with a subpar walk rate) over 57 2/3 innings out of the Cubs’ bullpen.


  • The Cardinals activated Lars Nootbaar from the 10-day IL, and sent Juan Yepez to Triple-A in the corresponding move.  Nootbaar was in the St. Louis lineup for the first time since Opening Day, when he injured his left thumb diving into a base.  While the Cardinals’ outfield depth chart might prevent Nootbaar from true everyday duty, he is still expected to get a lot of playing time as a left-handed hitter capable of playing all three outfield spots.  Jordan Walker’s emergence has only added to a crowded outfield picture that also includes Nootbaar, Tyler O’Neill, Alec Burleson, Dylan Carlson, Yepez, and utilityman Brendan Donovan.
  • The Twins activated outfielder Max Kepler from the 10-day IL, as Kepler returned after missing the minimum 10 days while recovering from right patellar tendinitis.  Minnesota optioned outfielder Matt Wallner to Triple-A in the corresponding move.  Kepler’s return will bring a bit of relief for the injury-plagued Twins, and he’ll look for something of a reset to his season after playing in only four games prior to his IL stint.  Kepler is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract, and will be a free agent this winter unless the Twins exercise a $10MM club option for 2024.
  • Michael Lorenzen made his first start of the season today, as the Tigers activated the right-hander from the 15-day IL.  Unsurprisingly, Lorenzen showed some rust, allowing six earned runs over four innings in what ended up being a 7-6 comeback win for Detroit over San Francisco.  A left groin strain has kept Lorenzen on the shelf, but going forward, he is expected to contribute in the Tigers’ rotation after signing a one-year, $8.5MM free agent deal during the offseason.  Along with activating Lorenzen, Detroit also called up southpaw Tyler Holton from Triple-A, and sent righty Garrett Hill and infielder Ryan Kreidler to Triple-A.

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