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Good news on the Marlon Byrd recovery front. After he went down in a heap following a fastball to the face, it would have been fair to assume that Byrd was done for the year. But his injury wasn’t as bad as feared, and his rehab has been swift and successful thus far.

Byrd says he’s about a week away from a rehab assignment.

“I’ll get full sprints in in Kansas City probably Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Byrd said of the upcoming weekend trip. “Then I’ll fly back here and on Monday morning head out to Des Moines.”

Byrd’s rehab stint might be one of the most important such stints in recent years. It will demonstrate whether he’s ready to stand firm in the batter’s box, something that must be incredibly difficult for even the toughest guy who’s taken one off the head. If all goes well, Byrd could be back for the July 4 series in Washington.

Perhaps the biggest (read: most selfish) reason to root for a quick, successful return for Byrd? The Cubs need Byrd to show other teams that the injury did not impact his play so that they will have the option of trading him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. As tremendous a teammate as Byrd is, he’s not the future in center field for this team (hopefully Brett Jackson is), and, if he’s playing up to his ability, he has some trade value. Even if Jackson isn’t ready to take over in a few weeks, the Cubs can continue to platoon Tony Campana and Reed Johnson in the absence of Byrd. Of course, Johnson may himself be a trade piece, but let’s consider one player at a time.

  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

    I don’t know that there’s ever been a Cubs team with so many guys I love but who I hope are traded….

    • Michigan Goat

      Exactly!

    • jstraw

      Byrd, Johnson, Zambrano, Fuk, Dempster, Ramirez (anyone still love him?)…

      Who else?

      • Michigan Goat

        For character/likeabilty/leadership factor (if that’s even a real stat or important is up for unending discussion) I am still a fan of Byrd, Dempster, and Johnson (and he’s been producing). I won’t miss Z or ARam and Fuk has disappointed too much for me to like him just because he is still hitting this year.

      • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

        Throw Pena in there even though he won’t be traded, it’ll just be good to have him gone from a performance perspective. And I do happen to think character/leadership is an important quality if only for the fact that the opposite – see A Ram, Z, and oh, M Bradley, is absolutely detrimental.

    • Jeff

      I don’t know that I “hope” that they get traded, but Kerry Wood and Sean Marshall would probably be the two biggest trading chips on the Cubs if they decide to sell, and coincidentally, they are two of my current favorite Cubs. Despite Wood’s struggles and injuries, he’s always going to be one of my all time favorites, if for no other reason than I was at the Astro’s game his rookie year, one of the best in game atmospheres I’ve ever been to. I would hate to see either traded, but like I said, if anyone is going to come asking about Cubs at the deadline, I guarantee that Wood and Marshall will be two of the first anyone asks about.

      • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

        Yes and add Wood to my list as well.

  • Bryan

    Hopefully the Cubs keep at least one veteran outfielder not named Soriano to help the kids like Jackson when they are ready to play in the bigs.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Ace

      Interesting point – does it have to be an outfielder, though?

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    I hope they restructure Ramirez ‘s deal..I would like to see him remain with the cubs..after this year there’s nobody available in the fa market ! Via trade market..I do like this prospect the Reds have in Juan Francisco ..

    • Michigan Goat

      Please be very specific about WHY you would want him around next year. His production, power, fielding, has seriously declined over the last two years. Yes there are no exciting FA next year at 3B, but we do have some young players that show some, although not exciting, promise in DJ and Blake and Baker is able to play third as effectively as ARam. I just don’t see the need to keep is apparent lack of passion, desire, and leadership around as the Cubs move into a rebuilding/youth period. I could understand keeping him around if he was a great clubhouse guy, mentor, and respected leader but he is NOT that. He is an aging veteran with diminished power and skills. Please explain why you have been so adamant about keeping ARam.

      • TWC

        Well, for one, Ramy16 would have to go through the trouble of changing his screen name…

      • TWC

        There’s little doubt in my mind that a platoon of Baker & Blake DeWitt (or whomever) would equal Aram’s offensive production and improve the defense. And they might even run out the pop-ups.

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    Ok Michigan goat…Josh vitters is the answer? Iam saying baker nor Dewitt is the answer either..lol at twc.ya got that right! I would like to see the cubs make a trade to the Reds for a great prospect in Juan Francisco ..look him up..

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