Chicago Cubs: Shortstop Addison Russell will not be available for NLCS


With the Chicago Cubs preparing themselves for this weekend’s start to the National League Championship Series against either the Dodgers or Mets, they’ll have to do so without one of their better all-around players.

On Monday evening, shortstop Addison Russell crushed a pitch to left field the same night his teammates got home run happy. While most of us assumed it was going to land in either the basket or sea of fans, it bounced off the wall, staying in play.

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This resulted in Russell storming around first and second, turning on the jets and making his way to third. Despite sliding in ahead of the tag to record his first postseason triple of his young career, something was wrong.

There was a brief delay in the game as Joe Maddon and a trainer jogged out from the dugout to check on their prized infielder. Moments later, Russell was leaving the game which made way for Javier Baez to take over as a pinch-runner.

The 21-year-old shortstop had struggled over the course of four postseason games, going 3-for-12 at the dish with one triple, an RBI, three strikeouts and one stolen base prior to sustaining the hamstring injury.

"“I would think that if he had to come out of the game, I’d be hard-pressed to believe he would be ready for (Thursday), I don’t know that yet, but I’m not counting on it.” – Maddon said Tuesday via Chicago-TribuneMore from Cubbies CribCubs: Adrian Sampson is forcing his way into the conversationProjecting the Chicago Cubs bullpen to open the 2023 seasonCubs fans are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnelJustin Steele has evolved into a frontline starter for the CubsThe future of first base is murky right now for the Cubs"

Now according to CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, Russell has been ruled out for the NLCS as Maddon will move forward with Baez at short and hopes he’d be ready if the Cubs advance to the World Series later on this month.

Mooney also notes that Maddon will not be moving Starlin Castro back over to shortstop and will keep him at second base. Castro was benched earlier on in the year after falling into a slump but has bounced back nicely as the team’s everyday second baseman.

Hopefully, Javier will be able to tighten up his defense as he’s had a couple of plays eat him up since he stepped in for his fellow rookie teammate on Monday. His bat hasn’t been a problem.

In two games, Baez is 4-for-5 at the plate with a homer, three RBI, and a stolen base with a batting line of .800/.800/1.400. One interesting note is that he hasn’t struck out yet.

Let’s see if he can keep it going this weekend and help lead this club to their first World Series appearance in 70 years.

Next: Lester takes Game 1, Arrieta Game 2 of NLCS