The Chicago Cubs have indeed made a roster move to bring a fresh arm into the bullpen in anticipation of tonight’s game where James Russell is the scheduled starting pitcher. The Cubs recalled Justin Berg from Iowa, and placed outfielder Marlon Byrd on the disabled list. Berg, who has optioned off the major league roster when Doug Davis debuted earlier this month, will be making his second stint with the Cubs this season.
While the Cubs have not said anything officially about Byrd’s status, it appear that this trip to the disabled list is solely because of the injury to his eye, and not because Byrd suffered a concussion. Remember if Byrd did suffer a concussion, the Cubs would be able to place him on the new 7 day disabled list created for the exclusive purpose of treating concussions.
During today’s edition of Baseball Tonight, ESPN’s John Kruk reported that Byrd is planning on being released from the hospital today, but, Kruk added that Byrd’s left eye was still swollen shut. Again we can only hope that nothing is significantly wrong with Byrd. As of this point, there is not timetable on when we can expect Byrd to return to the 25 man roster. Most of the planning will be done after the Cubs give a definite explanation as to what happened to Byrd. Going under the assumption that Byrd’s eye is the reason for the DL trip and not a concussion, then it may take up to two weeks for Byrd to fully recover and be ready for action. However if there is some concussion related issues, the time table varies–it could be anywhere from two weeks to two months. But the prognosis is that Byrd should be able to return right after the designated 15 day DL trip.
In light of the situation, Byrd being placed on the disabled list figures to give Reed Johnson some much deserved playing time. With Johnson now the true fourth outfielder on the team, he figures to take the place of Byrd in centerfield. Johnson is hitting .398/.448/.638 with an OPS of 1.135 through 51 at bats this season. Manager Mike Quade has been looking for ways to incorporate Johnson into the lineup, and now he has that chance. This also figures to increase the playing time of Tony Campana, who becomes the fourth outfielder with Byrd sidelined. Campana may see his first major league start at some point within the next two weeks. Then again, Quade does have a habbit of starting infielder Blake DeWitt in the outfield instead of the young fifth outfielder he has on his bench.
Regardless the inury to Byrd is just another a long list that includes Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner, and Geovany Soto. In addition to Matt Garza, who will be seeing a doctor tomorrow due to his arm stiffness. It has not been determined whether or not Garza will go on the disabled list. If he does, it would be the second time in his career that he has been sidelined for an extended amount of time.