The long season taking its toll, but the Cubs continue to persevere


Including today’s suspended game, the Cubs have 22 games left on the schedule for 2014. While they have become a more competitive team, a more exciting team to watch, the end of the season can’t seem to come fast enough. The 162 games schedule is starting to wreak havoc on the Cubs.

Welington Castillo was held out of today’s game with lower back tightness. He’s day-to-day. That’s somewhat how Anthony Rizzo‘s absence began. Then there is of course Starlin Castro and his high ankle sprain. Ryan Sweeney just hit the 60-day DL with his hamstring injury. And Tsuyoshi Wada left today’s game early with cramping in his calf.

The calendar turned to September just in time for the Cubs. Sweeney was the only DL move made because there was no chance he’d return. They’re holding out hope for Castro and Rizzo,but neither will be rushed. By leaving them off the DL it simply allows them to rehab, and if they’re ready, there’s no DL timetable to contend with.

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September call-ups are a good time to see young talent within the system, but also to give the managers more bodies to work with. The one thing that can’t be overlooked in all of this is the importance of depth. The Cubs front office has done an amazing job of building positional depth throughout the farm system, and this is why it’s needed. A muscle pull, a freak slide injury like Castro’s, and suddenly without it you’re scrambling.

Some questioned why the Cubs picked up another shortstop in Addison Russel in the trade with the Athletics. There was a myriad of explanations, but this is one of the key ones. You never know how far you’ll have to delve down in a 162 game season. The Cubs are turning heads with their play, with the success, and number of rookies having success.

Don’t think for a minute that the last month of games don’t mean anything. The Cubs are putting baseball on notice. Times are changing.