Happy Labor Day

… and welcome, September call-ups! Sept. 1 marks the expansion of the major-league roster limit to 40 players. The Cubs expect to add far less than the 15 they are allowed and so far have added hitters Micah Hoffpauir, Koyie Hill and Casey McGehee and pitcher Michael Wuertz from Triple-A Iowa. Pitchers Jon Lieber and Angel Guzman were activated from the disabled list.

Both Koyie and Angel seemed especially happy to be back in the Cubs clubhouse, with plenty of pats on the back and smiles to go around. Both those players have faced some fairly traumatic injuries in the past year:

Koyie severed two fingers on his right hand in a carpentry accident during the off-season. But immediate surgery reattached the digits, and he came back to hit .275 with 17 homers and a .350 on-base percentage in 113 games with Iowa.

Angel had a great April and May in Chicago last season but ultimately went down with a right-elbow injury that necessitated reconstructive surgery Sept. 6, 2007. He had a 1.59 ERA in 17 innings over seven rehab appearances this year before finding his nameplate right next to Carlos Zambrano’s this morning.

Who will it be?

The winner of the Ultimate Seventh-Inning Stretch competition will be presented before today’s game and lead the crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” this afternoon.

Impact players

Cubs players and coaches will be making special visits to several area schools and hospitals tomorrow morning. Ryan Dempster, Neal Cotts, and Mark DeRosa and Jason Marquis will be opening up three different elementary school.

Rich Harden, Jon Lieber, Daryle Ward, Larry Rothschild, Geovany Soto, Henry Blanco, Mike Quade, and WGN-Radio’s Cory Provus will be visiting Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Children’s Memorial Hospital.

— Sean Ahmed

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