Ian Stewart has been dealing with wrist issues for years, and they took a turn for the worst last year with the Rockies, when he hurt the wrist again. Since then, he’s experienced daily pain, and it has impacted his ability to be the kind of hitter everyone hoped he might be.

Last week, the pain became too much, and the Cubs decided to place Stewart on the disabled list. In the meantime, Stewart was sent to the Cleveland Clinic to see a specialist about the possibility of a more serious problem in the wrist, like nerve damage. It seemed a little grim.

Fortunately, that visit proved uneventful, as the doctors there concluded there were no serious or structural issues in the wrist, and that the problem was the same as the Cubs’ doctors had concluded. So, instead of major surgery, Stewart got a cortisone shot to help him get through the season.

“They injected him on top of the hand this time,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum told reporters. “It seemed to go well, so hopefully that can get him through the season and we can go from there.”

As for future surgery for Stewart, Sveum isn’t ready to commit.

“I don’t know if it’s going to be on the table right now,” Sveum said. “This kind of thing is lingering, and hopefully these cortisone shots in a different area are going to make the big difference.”

Stewart is due to come off the disabled list late next week, but Luis Valbuena has been filling in admirably at third base for now. The Cubs would almost certainly still like to get Stewart back soon, and have him demonstrate that the cortisone shot resolved the wrist issue for now. If so, who knows? Maybe Stewart goes on a month-long run, and the Cubs find a taker at the trade deadline.

  • TWC

    “…who knows? Maybe Stewart goes on a month-long run, and the Cubs find a taker at the trade deadline.”

    Ha! That might be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read on this site — including the comments!

    • ColoCubFan

      No joke! I got a good belly laugh from that statement! Quite possibly Brett’s furthest reach yet!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Oh guys…

      • Jeff

        Everybody’s a critic, right?

      • Doug

        Perhaps Brett is still feeling the effects of the dentist’s Nitrous Oxide.

        • gratefulled

          hippie crack, WOO-HOO!!!

  • random_monkey

    So when Stewart comes back, I assume he goes back into 3rd like you say, to try and get some time in before the trade deadline or whatever.

    Either way, Valbuena’s looked pretty decent in his pretty short stint so far. Will he then go to playing backup for 3rd and 2nd?

    Actually, what’s happened to Cardenas lately?

    • Njriv

      I’ve been asking that about Cardenas since he was brought up.

  • auggie1955

    The White Sox are pretty desperate for help at 3rd base. Between Morel out with back problems and Orlando Hudson being pathetic with the bat and his glove, Stewart would be an improvement for the Sox.

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    Definitely one of the worst trades.

    • Leroy K

      He was just a filler that Epstein hoped would find his swing—obviously he didn’t, but it never was meant to be a long term idea.

    • JB88

      Seriously? You moved two underachieving MLB players and two somewhat overachieving MiLB ball players. It isn’t like Colvin has had a transcendent season. And it isn’t like Stewart was garbage either. Plus, taking a flyer on a premier position like 3B was worth trading a hot-and-cold player like Colvin also.

      • hcs

        I agree. Stewart has the potential to be an All Star if he can get healthy, and I just can’t see all the hate he gets. It’s not like Colvin’s ceiling is more than a fourth outfielder with a little pop in his bat, at best. If Stewart can return to form, I only hope it will shut up the naysayers for a while. He could easily be Aramis without the attitude.

        • Wilbur


          Marginal outfielder traded for marginal 3b, but you had extra outfielders you did not have extra 3b.

          If the injuries persist non-productive trade. If injuries recede maybe not.

          Not sure why Stewart is such a lighting rod for some.

          Rosters churn over the course of the year, sometimes getting a little better sometimes receding depending on the transaction. Where is the roster going is the key. As has been driven home repeatedly long term prospects are getting more interesting, and short term sucks.

          Stewart is part of the churn. Assuming he does get some relief in his wrist and can play without pain I expect the Cubs to hold onto him through the life of his contract as a placeholder until younger players develop.

    • hansman1982

      Out of the 5 major trades Theo has executed? Probably. One of the worst ever, not by a long shot of a long shot.

      Right now I would rank them:


      With the last two being a statistical dead heat.

      • JB88

        I’m absolutely wracking my brain, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what you are referencing by the “Hill” trade.

        • Drew7

          I was thinking the exact same thing. I have no idea what Hansel is talking about here.

        • Jeff

          Oh come on guys….surely he meant Bobby Hill, oh wait, maybe it was Rich Hill???
          Koyie Hill???

          • Drew7

            Hank Hill

            • Jeff

              What the Hell!! Boobby!!!

        • joepoe321

          Hill trade=The cubs sent cash to the reds for koyie hill.

          • hansman1982

            ding ding ding ding…any trade involving Koyie Hill is the best one EVAH!

  • Kyle

    The interesting thing is that Stewart clearly was a different hitter this year. Strikeouts were significantly down, but ground balls were way up. It didn’t really make him better, but they definitely cvhanged something in his swing.

  • Jeff

    Here’s my .02 cents. Stewart has played great defense, much better than what we have seen in the past few years. Has he hit? It has not what we have hoped for, but he has been batting anywhere from 6th to 9th in the order. Try shaking it up a bit when he returns, sometimes guys need to be challenged.

    Sevum needs to solidify this lineup. My suggestion is to try a lineup of:

    1.) DeJesus 2.) Castro 3.) Stewart 4.) Soriano 5.) LaHair 6.) Soto 7.) Rizzo 8.) Barney

    Put Stewart in between Castro and Soriano and see if he gets more fastballs to hit, you got to try something!

    • EQ76

      actually the new lineup has been working great with LaHair in the 3-hole.. we’re 2-0 with LaHair in RF.. Sub out Clevenger for Rizzo when he’s called up.
      1. DeJesus
      2. Castro
      3. LaHair
      4. Soriano
      5. Rizzo
      6. Barney
      7. Soto
      8. Valbuena
      9. (pitcher)

      • Drew7

        I absolutely love not having to see Campana’s name at the top of these lineups anymore when people do them. This Spring’s lineups? ugh…

      • Jeff

        The point was to do something to get Stewart going…burying him lower in the lineup or having Valbuena in the lineup doesn’t help. I do think when Stewart comes back Cardenas should go back to AAA and Valbuena should stay and platoon or back up 3rd, SS and 2b.

        • EQ76

          I hope the job is Valbuena’s to lose..shoot, play him as long as he keeps producing. Stewart hasn’t got going for 2 years, why would we expect him to suddenly get going now?

  • Karena

    Obviously, the wrist is not healing as he continues to play so the Cubs just need to put Stewart on the 60-day DL and restrict him from using the wrist as much as possible. Valbuena has been impressive.

    • Matty

      I would go this route. The less Stewart the better for everybody.

  • Spriggs

    The illustration that goes with this story is absolutely perfect!

  • Frankum

    I love Stewart. The guy has hit the ball hard all year! I remember multiple games where he hit screaming line drives every at bat. Unfortunately they were always right at someone. When he has good pitch selection he is a hard ball hitter. He is also a big dude, so he has some power opportunity when the wrist is healthy.

    • hansman1982

      ya, it is very odd that his BABIP has remained so low this year – now that may just be a case of him not having the power to turn a liner to short into a base hit into left or it may just be that God hates the Cubs.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Another player using the PED known as Cortisone! :)

  • Jeff

    Hey, when your paying $114 a ticket, your damn right! Stick that needle in him and get him back out there…lol

    • TWC

      Oh, man, it’s been AGES since someone bitched about ticket prices!  Glad to hear it.

  • MikeW

    I would assume Stewart’s going to come back, perform better than he had earlier this year, but still not anything great, and that the Cubs ultimately non-tender him in the offseason rather than pay him 2.5-3.5M through arbitration.

  • mudge

    I don’t understand why Stewart was being run out every day with a nagging injury. Days off around an off day. Acupuncture would probably help him a lot if it’s a nerve issue. I’d leave Valubena in there for a while, he’s been a spark. Why anyone wants to judge a player’s long-term value when he’s obviously playing hurt is beyond me. Sometimes a player needs a challenge, but for me that’s Soto, not a wounded Stewart, in the three-hole.

    • GoldFist

      Stewy dont need no vooodoooo majik!!!!!!!(LOL!) IMO Thems facts!

    • hansman1982

      every player in baseball has some sort of nagging injury from mid-April through the end of the season.

    • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

      I still like Stewart and posted awhile back that felt he was playing while hurt. I also thought, and still believe, they need to put him on the 60 day DL to try and get the wrist back to 100%. Since they now know that there is no structural damage, take this time to get back to 100% and put Valbuena in there for the extended look…

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    Any Shelby sightings today?

  • mudge

    Voodoo’s a different tradition. Sometimes that’s good too.

  • mudge

    And the dividing line of decision about resting a player, is whether he can play effectively through a nagging injury. If he can’t, put out a fresh troop. Ain’t that a no-brainer?

  • hogie

    “Maybe ______ goes on a month-long run, and the Cubs find a taker at the trade deadline.”

    I feel like this has ended every article for the last few weeks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Except it hasn’t. Maybe two posts about Soto, and emphasis that it’s good if Dempster and Garza pitch well.

      And if you hate those five or six posts, you’re really going to hate the next month and a half…

      • hogie

        I didn’t say that I hated it, and I didn’t mean it to be a shot, just indicative of the team and what our goal is at the time. I love the posts about how such and such impacts a trade and so forth. I believe, as I have for years, that you have a very keen eye and a good sense of the potential of happenings within the team. Keep up the good work and I hope you can catch up on the sleep after this series.

        Maybe i should have used a smiley face or something.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          You’re good – I mean the “you’re gonna hate” as just a tongue-in-cheek thing (in the same way you did – a comment on the team).

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Stewart sucks……. Also I question his toughness. Nobody is finding anything wrong with him!! So what is the excuse? He got a cortisone shot. Okay my doctor gives those to me. They hurt but are not a big deal. If what ever the issue is doesn’t warrant any kind of surgery then Stewart has a mental issue or something. Hey I agree that it was worth taking a flyer on the guy. He sucks so we move on. He is not worth keeping on the roster any longer. He won’t be making a miraculous 1 month run to make himself trade worthy. I hope he has seen his last day in Chicago Cubs lineup.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Cortisone treats a symptom (swelling).  The symptom means that there is something wrong.  The fact that people cannot figure out what is wrong is not evidence that there is nothing wrong.  You don’t just perform surgery willy-nilly, especially on a batter’s wrists.  You have to know what to fix first.

      File “toughness” with “vital force,” “phlogiston” and “hustle” under “explanations from the clueless”…..

      • hardtop

        willy-nilly? according the the ian stewart apologists (pretty much everyone on BN) the wrist has been bothering him for two full years. remember? thats why he sucked last year, and would bounce back this year? he didnt suck because he sucks, no! it was that he had a bad wrist… remember? anyway, he has claimed to have a sore wrist for at least a year and a half. im not saying he doesnt, but im annoyed that, over the course of 2 season, a millionaire, who makes his living playing baseball (if you want to call it that), cant find the source of an injury that prevents him from playing baseball. especially when the teams are actually picking up the bill for it all.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Just to be precise, I’m not sure anyone said he *would* bounce back this year. Just that he might.

          • TWC

            I’m pretty sure that Kyle guaranteed that Stewart would be leading the league in home runs, no?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Well, yeah, Kyle. But nobody listens to him.

            • hansman1982

              Kyle also once said that last year’s team was Maholm, Volstad and Wood away from contention…

              • Kyle

                And I was right.

            • Jeff

              Kyle said that I would become a Rock Star, make millions of dollars and get laid every night, that still hasn’t happened. :(

        • cubs1967

          theo pretty much donated colvin and lamaheui to the rockies for stewart. in the long run, no that much of a future asset loss; however as theo is the ‘boy wonder’ ; we should not be donating any players to teams…….See Z and Marshall too. stewart plays or not who cares; at this point let’s let valbuena try for a while and then vitters come sept/ stewart is arb elgible; which means DFA him in the offseason & we’ll see if vitters takes over for 2013.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          And how does becoming a millionaire through playing baseball make Stewart qualified to figure out what is wrong with his wrist?

  • hardtop

    some say gods wrath, i say its a blessing.