The news that both Andrew Cashner (semi-expected) and Randy Wells (completely blindsided) are going to the disabled list is still hanging over the Chicago Cubs like a cloud spitting out baby tears. Yesterday’s loss certainly didn’t help move the cloud along.

And the updates from yesterday do little to comfort.

The plan is to shut both down for 10 to 14 days, and re-evaluate their situation at that point. In other words, neither will pick up a baseball for some two weeks, and we won’t even know how long they’ll be out until that point. It seems unthinkable that either could slot right back into the rotation at that point – a throwing program, even a short one, and perhaps a rehab start or two, will be required.

So, if all goes according to plan, we’re looking at a month without Wells and Cashner. But when does anything go according to plan for the Cubs? Ours is an existence to which “best case scenario” is a foreign concept.

Sigh.

There’s no doubt that writing about the Chicago Cubs brings me a great deal of joy. I like reading, thinking, and talking about the Cubs. And I already obsess about the team, so why not put that obsession to good use by providing news, rumors, analysis and doodles to you? It’s win-win. But the truth is, it can be very trying to write appropriately and usefully about a team when you’re a diehard fan of that team. So it is with the twin Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner injuries.

I want to bring you this kind of information in a timely, even-handed and valuable way, and offer you a tempered analysis of what it means for the Cubs. But the truth is, when this kind of thing happens, I just want to scream obscenities and punch a dolphin.

And post things like this (sort of NSFW language):

I know. I need to calm myself. I’m being very un-Dude.

The truth is, the injuries appear to be relatively minor (though even a “minor” arm injury after the FIRST start of the season is enough to get my stomach churning). This is no Adam Wainwright situation, and the Cubs have, frankly, been due for some injury issues. And at least the MRIs for both came back clean. No structural damage.

For now, Casey Coleman will come up from his non-stay at AAA Iowa to start on Sunday against the Brewers, and is now the de facto fourth starter (always a bummer when a guy who couldn’t make the team as theĀ fifth starter is now the fourth starter for a month or more). The fifth spot, when needed, is likely to be filled by a stretched-out James Russell. Thomas Diamond, who made some spot starts last year, is another possibility. Carlos Silva is not.

And that fifth spot, with consecutive Thursday off-days coming the next two weeks, the Cubs can push the fifth starter back a couple of extra days, and possibly clip one start off of his stay.

If Wells and Cashner are out for a month and a half, let’s say, that means each will miss about five or six starts. Wells has been incredibly durable over the past couple of years, so missing starts is a surprise on his front (but perhaps he was due?), but as for Cashner, he wasn’t going to be able to make 30 starts this year anyway. And while an April win counts as much in the standings as a September win, if these two absolutely had to miss time, wouldn’t you rather it was now than late in the season?

There. I’ve talked myself down. I feel a little better. How about you?

Now where’s that dolphin…



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