Chicago Cubs: A crop of position players on the mend
The same day that Darvish was declared out for the year, Addison Russell was scratched from the starting lineup. The next day he went on the disabled list with a sprained left middle finger and a right shoulder injury. Russell had been trying to play through the injuries for a while. However, since he injured his finger, Russell’s hitting had been suffering noticeably.
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Russell has already returned from the disabled list. The Daniel Murphy acquisition gave the Cubs opportunities to rest Russell. However, since Javier Baez and Russell are a much better defensive combination than when Murphy is in the game, Russell is often needed as defensive replacement.
Jason Heyward is in danger of not being able to get healthy in time for the playoffs. On Aug. 30, he injured his hamstring. Soft tissue injuries such as hamstrings are tricky. Its tempting to think that a player should come back from a mild strain after a short period of time. But that is rarely the case.
No matter what you think of Heyward’s bat this year, the Cubs are going to want his Glove Glove-caliber defense, base running and all the other intangibles that he brings to the playoff roster if that is at all possible.
On Sept. 4, Anthony Rizzo fouled a ball off his foot. After he stayed in the game for a little while, but ultimately Rizzo had to leave the game. Fortunately X-rays were negative and he started the very next game.
Of all of the Cubs recent injury news, Rizzo’s is the one that I’m the least concerned about. I’m sure it hurt, but as long as he doesn’t repeatedly foul balls off the same spot he should be fine.