Chicago Cubs: Addison Russell scratched from Triple-A rehab start
By Tim Stebbins
Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell did not make a scheduled rehab start with Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday night due to foot soreness.
It seemed like Addison Russell was on the cusp of re-joining the Chicago Cubs from the 10-day disabled list. Now, his return is uncertain.
Russell, 23, did not make a scheduled rehab start with Triple-A Iowa tonight due to right foot soreness. He will now return to Chicago for further testing.
The Cubs placed Russell on the disabled list in early August after he suffered a right foot injury. Not only has he been been out due to a strained foot muscle, but Russell also has plantar fasciitis.
Russell dealing with strange and tricky injury
Plantar fasciitis is known to be a difficult injury to manage; the plantar fascia is the ligament that attaches a person’s heal bone to their toes, according to WebMD. When one strains their plantar fascia, it can be difficult to walk, let alone stand.
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Russell recently said that the injury “crept up on him,” after he broke in a new pair of shoes early in August. While he was uncertain, he said the shoes may not have been as worn as he would have wanted them to be.
Although Javier Báez has more than filled in for Russell at shortstop, the Cubs are obviously more dangerous when completely healthy. While Russell is hitting just .241 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs this year, he still provides value defensively when his bat does not.
Russell is hitting .306 with three home runs in 62 at-bats since the All Star break. Losing him has had as much of an impact offensively as it has defensively. While he has struggled, Russell did have 21 home runs and 95 RBIs just last season.
Cubs shortstop depth thin
The Cubs do not consider Russell’s latest ailment a day-to-day injury. With September fast approaching, the possibility of Russell being out for the rest of the regular season becomes more real by the day.
Without Russell, the Cubs only have one true shortstop on their roster in Báez. In fact, Ben Zobrist is the only player on the roster to have played shortstop for the team this season.
While the Cubs’ shortstop depth is quite thin, they do have a plethora of players capable of playing second base. Ian Happ and Tommy La Stella are other middle infield options currently with the team.
If Báez is in need of a day off or gets injured himself (knock on wood), the Cubs will be forced to play one of the aforementioned players out of position. If they are not comfortable with this, the team may look to acquire a shortstop ahead of Thursday’s waiver trade deadline.
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Losing Russell for any extended time period is extremely unideal, even with Báez playing as great as he has. With MLB rosters expanding to 40 players Friday, the Cubs surely will consider adding a shortstop to keep Báez fresh. No matter who they bring in (if anyone), though, losing Russell hurts.