Since Joe Maddon took the helm of the Chicago Cubs, the club has been remarkably fortunate with injuries. That is, until this season.
Looking back to 2015, the Chicago Cubs have been very fortunate with injuries. Aside from the Kyle Schwarber freak accident in Arizona, no major player missed significant time in any of the last three seasons.
But, this year, they have not been as fortunate. Many key components of the team are injured or have been at some point during the year, and the handling of these players has left a lot to be desired.
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The Cubs’ inked Yu Darvish to a six-year contract this past offseason. His tenure in Chicago has been filled with tension, due to a bad elbow and an irrational fan base. Darvish hit the disabled list for the second time at the end of May – and was recently diagnosed with a stress reaction in that elbow that will keep him out the rest of the season.
Here’s where I have a problem. This week, Darvish released a statement regarding the recent diagnosis and the pain he’s been battling all season.
In this, Darvish states he has felt that pain – to varying degrees – all season and there was always something more to it than what the Cubs’ stated. How can Darvish always know he has something more but the training staff can’t when they work together every day? The right-hander made a few rehab attempts but was never fully able to get healthy this year. How can a training staff that handles these players every day not catch something like this? Why are the Cubs so reluctant to use the DL?
Take last season, for example. Ben Zobrist battled a wrist injury all season, and it was so bad, there were times he physically could not swing a bat. The Cubs allowed him to play through it, even when he clearly should not have.
This year, superstar Kris Bryant battled his first real problem of his career. Not performance-wise or anything, but in the form of a bad shoulder. He was immediately moved to the disabled list. Bryant served his time, but when he came back, he was anything but effective. The injury never healed and he continued playing through it. Bryant now sits on the DL again and just recently started taking some swings.
A player being able to play and perform should not be their choice. This Cubs training staff has a poor track record of handling injuries, and they need to start stepping up and taking control and make a final decision on these guys.