Sunday Morning Pitch-Byrd, Russell, Bullpen Relief


While the Chicago Cubs were able to come away with a 9-3 victory yesterday against the Boston Red Sox, there still were a few areas to be concerned with after the game. For one, the health of Matt Garza. As mentioned last night, Garza has been scratched from his start today and will be evaluated in Chicago tomorrow. However, Garza was not the biggest concern resulting from last night’s game. Instead, Marlon Byrd who suffered a frightening injury last night was topic of concern from manager Mike Quade. After the jump we will update Byrd’s condition, take a look at who the starter will be for the Cubs tonight, and take a look at a potential change to the 25 man roster.

Marlon Byrd hospitalized overnight

During last night’s game, Byrd was hit in the head with a pitch during the second inning. It appeared that the ball ricocheted off of Byrd’s helmet and hit him under the left eye. Fortunately for Byrd, he never lost consciousness after being hit with the pitch. Byrd left the game immediately and headed directly to a Boston area hospital to undergo more testing. Early indications are that all the testing came back negative and Byrd is not believed to have a concussion. The Cubs are expected to update his condition at some point today.

It is always a concerning injury for any player to get hit with a pitch near the eye. As that type of injury has been known to derail a baseball career. Obviously when you dealing with an injury to the eye, it is not known as to what condition the player’s vision is. Recently, Aaron Rowand,outfielder for the San Francisco Giants, suffered a similar injury to Byrd’s and has seen his production be on a decline since the injury. However, considering the circumstances, Byrd was in relatively good condition after he was initially hit by the pitch.

James Russell Will Start Sunday

Mike Quade announced last night that left handed reliever James Russell will be the starter for tonight’s series finale against the Red Sox. There was no indication on what the pitch limit would be for Russell. Considering his past starts, I would imagine that Russell will not go past 75 starts. Though, since he has reverted back to being a reliever, a more realistic limit may be around 45-60. With the current situation the Cubs are in, Russell is the ideal choice. But that is not saying much, considering Russell’s past struggles as a starting pitcher.

More Bullpen Arms Coming?

In anticipation of a bullpen day, the Cubs may opt to call up another relief pitcher from Iowa in order to give the Cubs’ bullpen a fresh arm. With the short outing by Doug Davis on Friday, the Cubs bullpen is still trying to regain their stamina. Justin Berg may be the logical option for the Cubs. Berg is having the best is having the best season among all Iowa relievers. Through 8 innings of work, Berg has an ERA of 2.25. Considering the Cubs are only in need of a bullpen arm, don’t anticipate a young pitcher getting called up if the Cubs make a roster move today.