Chicago Cubs: Szczur Placed on 15-Day DL, Kalish Recalled
The Chicago Cubs have been hit with the injury bug lately and now the Cubs lose another valuable outfielder to a hamstring injury.
If you missed yesterday’s Chicago Cubs game, you may have missed that OF Matt Szczur was pulled from the game with a hamstring injury after attempting to steal home during the fifth inning.
After undergoing an MRI today, the Cubs have placed Matt Szczur on the 15-day DL with a mild hamstring strain, according to a tweet for Carrie Muskat. The Cubs then recalled OF Ryan Kalish from Triple-A Iowa to take Szczur’s spot on the roster.
To make room for Kalish on the 40 man roster, infielder Christian Villaneuva has been transferred to the 60-day DL.
Szczur made the team out of spring training and was out of options, meaning the Cubs could not send him to the minor leagues. Szczur’ struggles at the plate in 2014 and 2015 (hitting just .224 in 80 games) made it difficult for him to stick with the big league club.
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With small sample sizes in each of those seasons, the Cubs didn’t give up on him and he is off to a great start in 2016 with a .367/.441/.600 slash line in just 21 games. Szczur already has a career high in RBI with 10 and looked like he was ready to have a breakout season for the Cubs.
Fortunately, this injury does not appear to be too severe, and it’s likely he will miss just the minimum of 15 days, but hamstring injuries do tend to linger sometimes.
Kalish spent the 2014 season in the Cubs organization and compiled a .248/.295/.347 slash line in 57 games. Kalish, like Szczur, has struggled at the plate in 146 career games and has played for a big league club in every other year. After sitting out the 2015 season, he signed as a minor league free agent by the Cubs in March.
Many of you may be wondering why the Cubs did not call up OF Matt Murton to take Szczur’s place. According to another tweet from Carrie Muskat, Murton suffered a strained oblique prior to the start of Monday’s Iowa Cubs game, thus making him unavailable to get called up at this point.
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Murton rejoined the Cubs organization when he signed a minor league deal in February.
How does this impact the current roster? This once again opens the door for Jorge Soler, who continues to struggle at the plate and likely gives Kris Bryant more starts in the outfield as well. With Heyward missing another day due to a sore wrist, it’s good that the Cubs have outfield depth on the roster.