Chicago Cubs: Addison Russell injury seems more serious than previously thought
By Jake Misener
The latest update on Chicago Cubs infielder Addison Russell seems to suggest his injury may be far more serious than we had initially thought.
The good news? Javier Baez is playing tremendously well. The bad news? The Chicago Cubs may be without Addison Russell for a lot longer than we thought when he was placed on the disabled list.
Prior to the team’s opener against the Cincinnati Reds Monday, manager Joe Maddon offered no comfort to the media or fans.
Russell hit the disabled list on Aug. 4, retroactive to Aug. 2. He was due to return on Monday, but now, it’s looking more like the end of the month. In the meantime, Baez handles shortstop and a merry-go-round of names will take reps at second.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
For a really good take on the whole situation, check out Brett over at Bleacher Nation. He breaks everything down well and it’s definitely worth a read.
Russell doing what he does – again
Prior to the injury, Russell carried a .241/.305/.722 slash-line, good for a .722 OPS. With how he started the season, you’d likely never guess that he’s pretty much on-pace for replicating his 2016 OPS – when he earned an All-Star nod and drove in 95 runs.
- 2016: .738 OPS – 151 G – 125 H
- 2017: .722 OPS – 97 G – 77 H
Sure, the run-scoring knocks haven’t been there. But if you average it out, last season he came up with .83 hits per game played. This season – .79 hits per game played. He needs to improve at the plate, but he’s stepped up down the stretch in a big way for his team.
After posting a .579 OPS in the month of May, Russell bounced right back. With an .805 OPS in June and .779 OPS in July, the young infielder was trending upward. Of course, his defense – still above-average – has taken a bit of a step backward from 2016, as well. How much of this had to do with his health is unknown.
According to general manager Jed Hoyer, it’s not as simple as just coming right back to Chicago. When he finally works his way back from this injury – a combination of muscular issues with “some plantar fasciitis” – he’ll likely be headed for a rehab assignment.
Next: Inconsistent offense this team's biggest weakness
So, for the foreseeable future, it’s Baez at short. And when Russell makes it back to the Cubs, let’s hope he’s: A) healthy and B) ready to help lead the team back to another postseason berth.