The Cubs Are Dropping Like Flies


While the rapture did not take place on Saturday, this whole week has been an apocalypse for the Chicago Cubs. At first, it was Andrew Cashner. After being re-evaluated earlier this week it was discovered that Cashner had re-aggravated the strain in his right elbow. Pushing back his return to the rotation till at least mid-July. Then, Matt Garza was the next victim to the injury. Garza was scratched from his scheduled start today due to arm stiffness, and will be evaluated tomorrow when the Cubs return to Chicago. On the same day as Garza being scratched, Marlon Byrd suffered an injury that landed him on the disabled list.

Garza,  and Byrd only added to what is already a long list of injuries for the Cubs as Randy Wells, Geovany Soto, and Cashner were already on the disabled list prior to this week. So who was the latest Cub to get injured?

If you guessed Jeff Baker, you are correct. Baker was forced to leave the game Sunday night as he strained his left groin on a slide into second base. Baker is scheduled to be evaluated Tuesday in Chicago. If you recall, this is practically the same injury that forced Soto to go on the disabled list. Meaning Baker will likely have the same fate.

Even though Baker is not an impact player, a trip to the disabled list would be a significant blow to the Cubs. Considering Baker is the utility man for the Cubs, his value is irreplaceable on the 25 man roster. This season, Baker has served as a: first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, and right fielder for the Chicago Cubs. Not to mention he came into play hitting at .378/.393/.488 clip with 13 runs batted in through 82 at bats.

If the Cubs do indeed place Baker on the disabled list, they could go any number of ways as far as who to call up from Iowa. As I mentioned, Baker can play just about every position on the field. But the decision of who to call up will be based upon who the Cubs already have on their 25 man roster. The Cubs have four outfielders on the depth chart, so an outfielder being called up does not seem like a possibility. Blake DeWitt figures to step in as the primary backup to second and third base, so a middle infielder may not be the call-up either. Instead, expect the call up to be a player with first base experience. With Baker now injured, the Cubs are left without a primary backup to Carlos Pena.

Bryan LaHair or Scott Moore could be two options the Cubs may look at. Both have some versatility as they can play multiple positions. LaHair has experience as both a first baseman and outfielder throughout his professional career. LaHair is also off to an impressive start with the Iowa Cubs as he his hitting .378/.449/.704 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs through 39 games. Meanwhile,  Moore has experience as a first baseman, second baseman, shortstop, third baseman, and outfielder througout his career. Moore is currently hitting .270/.341/.409 with 3 home runs for the Iowa Cubs.

However, neither are on the 40 man roster so there would have to be a corresponding roster move to make room on the 40 man roster. For what it is worth, Fernando Perez is the only current minor league position player on the 40 man roster.

A decision on whether or not Jeff Baker goes on the disabled list will likely be made on Tuesday.