Contreras, Russell being eased back in

Contreras, Russell being eased back in

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and shortstop Addison Russell played a full nine innings for the first time during Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field. Before the game, manager Joe Maddon said he's trying to ease both back and keep them healthy for possible postseason play.

A strained right hamstring sidelined Contreras for one month, while Russell sat out from Aug. 3 until Saturday because of a right foot strain. Both have returned to the lineup, but they have been pulled early.

"We want to keep these guys," Maddon said. "If we keep this going, I want these guys in the lineup. It's a fine balancing act to try to win the game, play these guys and not hurt them. They're still in rehab mode. Their at-bats have been outstanding."

The plan is to have Contreras and Russell play two -- maybe three -- straight days, then take a day off. If Maddon can pull them early from a game, that's even better.

Statcast: Contreras nabs Pham

• Reliever Hector Rondon, bothered by inflammation in his right elbow, played catch on Tuesday and hopes to throw a bullpen on Wednesday. He has not pitched in a game since Sept. 8.

• Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio remained in Chicago to have his foot examined after being struck by a line drive during batting practice on the last homestand. Bosio is expected to join the team in Milwaukee on Thursday.

Bullpen coach Lester Strode took over his duties for the Interleague series against the Rays.

• Third baseman Kris Bryant did not start on Tuesday to take advantage of Monday's off-day and get a two-day break. Bryant has scored 104 runs, fourth most in the National League.

• The Cubs have decided that right-hander Oscar De La Cruz will not pitch in the Arizona Fall League. De La Cruz, ranked as the organization's top prospect per MLBPipeline.com, had an issue with his pectoral muscle, and the Cubs want to give him time to heal so he's ready for Spring Training. De La Cruz, 22, went 4-3 with a 3.46 ERA in 12 starts at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach.

• Maddon and bench coach Dave Martinez, who both call Tampa their offseason home, were able to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Irma on Monday's off-day.

"There's just debris piled up along streets and some branches," Maddon said. "There's no water damage anywhere, and the bay is back to normal. It looks now like it always has."

• Double-A Tennessee broadcaster Mick Gillispie was named the co-Minor League Broadcaster of the Year by Ballpark Digest. Gillispie has been the "Voice of the Smokies" for 10 years. Since 2011, Gillispie has handled play-by-play and produced Cubs Spring Training games on MLB.com.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.