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Jun 12, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; A team trainer tends to Chicago Cubs center fielder Emilio Bonifacio (64) as manager Rick Renteria (R) looks on after Bonifacio suffered an apparent injury while batting during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Emilio Bonifacio nearing return for Cubs

After missing over a month with a strained oblique muscle, Emilio Bonifacio appears to be nearing a return to the Cubs sometime next week.

In three rookie-league games, Bonifacio went 3-for-10 with a stolen base. Since moving his rehab assignment to Double-A Tennessee, he’s gone 0-for-8 with two strikeouts.

The key for Bonifacio isn’t the numbers, but the at-bats and conditioning after missing a month.

Bonifacio was hitting .261 with one home run and 13 steals prior to the injury. His ability to play many positions and his speed makes him versatile, and possibly valuable to other contenders as well.

The emergence of Arismendy Alacantara makes the next week intriguing. The Cubs could be making several roster moves, including bringing Bonifacio back, as well as deciding on a fifth starter.

Will the Cubs end up sending Alcantara back down, or will the front office make a move, possibly Bonifacio, or even Darwin Barney? There’s always the chance the Cubs could make a move with Mike Olt as well, who continues to hit the ball out of the park when he does make contact, but that isn’t very often. But that move is clouded in Iowa with Kris Bryant currently manning third, unless they look to introduce him to another position, as they have with Javier Baez this week.

No matter the moves, Cubs’ fans should keep an eye on the roster over the next couple of weeks. Things may start getting interesting in Chicago.

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