While the Chicago Cubs placed Marlon Byrd on the 15 day disabled list, the expectation is that Byrd will be out far beyond the designated 15 days. Byrd suffered multiple broken bones in his face after being hit in the face with pitch on Saturday. There is not good news, but considering the circumstances, Byrd and the Cubs are are fortunate that the his vision appears to be in tact. Though, there still is a possibility that Byrd will not be able to return this season. Obviously, a lot depends on how fast the broken bones in his face recover, and then, how Byrd produces when he returns.
But for now at least, lets all be thankful that Byrd is in relatively good condition. Byrd spoke to reporters last night before the Cubs headed back to Chicago.
"“I have my vision, no brain damage, so it could’ve been worse,” he said. “No complaints.”The Cubs’ outfielder was placed on the 15-day disabled list and will see specialists Monday in Chicago.Byrd doesn’t know how long he’ll be out, but said he wants to come back “sometime” this season.“Whenever it heals,” he said. “I don’t want to go out there and make it worse.” Chicago Tribune"
The encouraging news is that the injury does not appear to be a career-ending. Though that may not be determined until Byrd attempts to come back from the injury. The key parts to take from Byrd’s statement is that he is not going to return until he is completely healthy and he hopes to return at some point this season. The length for these type of injuries can vary. Aarond Rowand was in a similar position last season when he was hit in the face with a pitch, causing several of his cheek bones to break. Rowand was on the DL for two weeks. However, his production has been on a decline since the injury.
Mike Cameron, Red Sox outfielder, also had a similar injury to that of Byrd’s. In August of 2005, Cameron collided with teammate Carlos Beltran in the outfield which caused Cameron to break several bones on his face including his nose. The injury was severe enough that it put an end to Cameron’s season. After witnessing the Byrd injury, Cameron told reporters that Byrd will have to get over the injury both physically and mentally. Which is why Byrd’s departure could be for much longer than expected. As his mental state will not be known until he returns to the playing field.
With Byrd out indefinitely, the Cubs are going to call up another outfielder. Iowa outfielder Lou Montanez was a late scratch today for the Iowa Cubs, and the move was done in anticipation of a call up to the major league roster. In order to make room for Montanez on the 25 man roster, Jeff Baker will likely be placed on the disabled list with a strained left groin. Montanez is hitting .369/.429/.573 with an OPS of 1.002 with the Iowa Cubs through 157 at bats.
The injury to Byrd also should bring a definite end to any and all trade rumors involving Byrd this season. As his value is now diminished, and he may not even be healthy by the time the trading deadline comes around. Top prospect Brett Jackson is expected to return from the disabled list this week for the Tennessee Smokies. Jackson may be an option down the line once he becomes reacquainted with playing everyday.