(CBS) The Cubs activated outfielder Chris Coghlan on Thursday as rosters expanded with the start of September. He’s slated to bat seventh and play left field when the Cubs host the Giants on Thursday night.
Coghlan had been on the 15-day disabled list with a rib contusion following an outfield collision in mid-August. He’s hitting .222 with a .710 OPS in 27 games for the Cubs this season.
Additionally, Chicago activated right-handed reliever Joe Smith and called up right-hander Jake Buchanan from Triple-A Iowa. Smith was sent to the DL on Aug. 17 with a strained left hamstring after recording a 7.36 ERA in six appearances with the Cubs.
The 26-year-old Buchanan is 12-8 with a 4.34 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 24 appearances, 22 of them starts, at Triple-A Iowa this season.
In a bit of a surprise, the Cubs chose to not yet call up outfielder Albert Almora Jr. from Triple-A Iowa. He spent time with the big league club earlier this season, hitting .265 with two homers, nine RBIs and a .712 OPS in 34 games after debuting on June 7. The Cubs can add the 22-year-old Almora any time they want moving forward in the coming days or weeks.
Almora has continued his quality play at Triple-A Iowa, where he was hitting .309 with four homers, 41 RBIs and a .744 OPS in 76 games. Almora dealt with a thumb injury in mid-August but has since recovered.
On Wednesday, general manager Jed Hoyer acknowledged the Cubs would like to add a speedster to their roster for September — and possibly the 25-man postseason roster if it works out.
“We’ve had those discussions, for sure,” Hoyer said in an interview with Dan Bernstein and Laurence Holmes on 670. “It’d be nice to have that element. We had Quentin Berry last year on our NLCS roster. You’re always looking for that. You never want to supplant a player who might be able to do some other things, but certainly that’s an area we’ve looked at.
“Theo (Epstein) and I watched Dave Roberts change a playoff series with a stolen base (for the Red Sox in 2004). If you can find that guy, it’s great. In today’s day and age, that’s a difficult thing to do, to be candid with you. The guy has to be able to steal a base when everybody in the ballpark knows he’s going. A lot of guys can steal bases in the course of a game when everyone’s not expecting it, but it’s a rare guy who can steal a base when everybody knows it’s coming. So we’re definitely looking for that. Whether we find it or not is yet to be seen.”