gods-wrathSo much for Ian Stewart’s non-injury.

The MRI of his quad showed a mild to moderate strain, per Gordon Wittenmyer, which is likely to keep Stewart out of action for 10 to 14 days. Stewart hurt the quad during Thursday’s intrasquad game.

It’s a really unfortunately timed injury for Stewart, who is already coming back from wrist surgery, which emanated from an ongoing wrist problem that cost him most of the 2012 season. He says the wrist is feeling 100% for the first time in years, but that’s not going to help him with this new quad problem.

Hopefully, with rest, and the long Spring Training, this won’t really be an issue.

The non-guaranteed nature of Stewart’s contract* becomes even more relevant in this context. The Cubs can cut Stewart by March 16, and owe him just 1/6 of his $2 million salary (or $333K). If they cut him by the end of Spring Training, they owe him 1/4 ($500K). Either way, Stewart will need to show that he’s worth that extra $1.5 million by Opening Day, or the Cubs might simply opt to save some cash.

*Note that there is nothing special about Stewart’s deal, as some folks have written. Typical contracts for players during their arbitration years include this non-guaranteed language – Stewart got the same kind of deal that a typical arbitration player would get. Although he was non-tendered, he’s still in his arbitration years. There’s no there there, as they say.

  • Jp3

    Someone said it on the board yesterday but please tell me we didn’t guarantee him $2 mill this year?? Any idea on that Brett? Please say it ain’t so.

    • CubFan Paul

      Learn to read…

      • Jp3

        Gotcha my bad just saw the title and jumped to conclusions… Someone sounds like they need to get some this morning

      • Drvannostrand

        Someone’s got a case of the Mondays!

        • Jimmy James

          A guy could get his ass kicked for saying that around here

          • Jp3

            I was using my Jump to Conclusions Mat;)

            • Leroy

              it’s a mat that has different conclusions on it—in which you can jump to them!!!

    • Carew

      NON-guarenteed $2

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Also, he’s out 10 to 14 days with a mild to moderate quad strain.

        • Jp3

          Like I said my bad, jumped to conclusions in the middle of changing diapers and taking care of a high maintenance 3 month old this morning.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Just havin’ some fun.

  • Alex

    hahaha well played Brett.

  • Rcleven

    I hate pimping Sullivan but

    Paul Sullivan ‏@PWSullivan

    Stewart said he’s not focused on possibility of not making Cubs due to injury. Termination fee is a factor though at end of spring.

  • Die hard

    Again- injury is another reason to ask Castro to move over now rather than in a few years

    • davidalanu

      Wait, what? Move over and play who at SS? And why the rush? I must’ve missed something.

      • Die hard

        Emergency because to start season again without 3B and Cubs have kids who should be allowed to show can play SS better than Castro who is avg at best

        • Carew

          Stewart is only out in the beginning of spring training. I’m not getting your thought process. I’d consider Castro to be entering the upper echelon of shortstops…

        • Jimmy James

          Who exactly would play short this year?

          • Cheryl

            It’s time to see if someone else can play third. I’m not saying Castro should be there but as to the question who else can play short wasn’t that Barney’s natural position? If Castro is tried at third Barney could shift to short and aren’t there extra infielders that could sub at second base? This might just be a good time to see if Castro could play third. I have my doubts about him at that position though.

            • arta

              u have people who can sub at 3b. IMO D is needed more at SS/2B than 3B.

            • Die hard

              Yes Barney was SS but range questioned – however with Castro at 3B that deficiency would be made up by Castro – agree worth a try

              • Jp3

                I think Castro’s value is best at SS but if he continues to make a slew of lack of concentration errors you could consider moving him to 2nd but 3rd is probably a no-go due to his lack of power. I realize he’d be better offensively than our other options but that’s mainly because we suck as a whole this year.

                • Die hard

                  That’s why belongs at 3B – too much down time at SS- if he doesn’t concentrate at 3B he will be lined driven to death

              • Jimmy James

                And then who at second…I just don’t see you guys improving the team this way

                • Theo Epstein

                  Believe me, Castro’s staying at short.

                • Jp3

                  I’m def not saying Castro should move off short, he’s still very young. But… You can’t be a contender when your shortstop is making close to 30 errors a season… I understand J-Roll is a 4 time gold glove winner but he makes a quarter of those errors in a season. I’m just saying if Castro doesn’t show improvement in the next year or 2 you’ve got to look where else he can play effectively. I don’t think it’s 3rd FWIW, he doesn’t have the power a corner infielder generally has on a contending team.

                  • JR

                    Castro also makes a lot of plays the Avg. shortstop can’t. Having his bat at shortstop is a HUGE advantage over other teams. I am cool with the errors, but it would be nice if he could improve that a little.

                    • Jp3

                      30 errors is a lot… I think his bat at 2nd would also translate well. I’m merely saying there is another option if he can’t trim it down a bit. 3 full seasons he’s had 27, 29, and 27 errors but his fielding % has gone up each year which is a good thing I guess.

                    • Hansman1982

                      Yes, on 15 of the 25 errors he commits a year thy are plays that a normal SS would have had no chance to make the play.

                      Any talk of Castro movig off SS is just nuts.

                    • Kyle

                      Castro’s range isn’t *that* good. He’s got above-average range, but let’s not oversell it. If he continues to make errors at this pace, he’s maybe an average defensive shortstop and will tend to get worse in his mid-20s.

                      Fortunately, he probably won’t continue to make errors at this pace.

                  • Jimmy james

                    He has shown improvement and I don’t see why as young as he is that he won’t continue to get better……short is his until someone takes it from him, and that ain’t going to be easy

                  • Tommy

                    When the Yankees won the world series in 2000, Jeter had 24 errors and a .961 fielding percentage, which was less than Castro’s fielding percentage last year.

                    I don’t think you can cherry pick any one stat and say that it is the one thing that will keep you from winning a WS. There are just far too many variables involved to make a blanket statement like that.

                    • Tommy

                      And moving Castro to 3B and Barney to SS is a horrible idea. Castro is an All-Star SS, he’d be less impressive as a hitter as a third baseman, and he would fall severely down the list where power is concerned.

                      Secondly, you’d take a gold glove second baseman and move him to SS where he would be average (at best) defensively. All so you can find some filler to play 2nd base. Wouldn’t it be easier just to leave them where they are and find someone that can play 3rd? If Stewart and Vitters don’t pan out, Valbuena has been hitting the cover off the ball all winter. Certainly he’s worth giving a shot.

                    • Jp3

                      Speaking of cherry picking stats are we really saying its ok to have 24 errors at short and you can still win a WS? Other than the fact that Yankee team was loaded Jeter hit .339 and had an OBP WAY over .400. And there is a difference in 24 errors and 29… Not to mention in the big moment I’m pretty sure The Captains head was always focused

                    • Jp3

                      Tommy I agree by the way the best solution here is to find a good 3rd baseman and we’ve got probably a year or 2 before its a priority over decent pitching depth whether we find that player in house or via free agency…

              • caryatid62

                The amount of bandwith that has been spent on this topic in these comments is ridiculously disproportionate to the likelihood that the team is even thinking about this, let alone that it will happen.

                Castro is the Shortstop. He will be for the foreseeable future. Nothing to see here.

                • DarthHater

                  “The amount of bandwith that has been spent on this topic in these comments is ridiculously disproportionate to the likelihood that the team is even thinking about this, let alone that it will happen.”

                  That was true when the originator of this brilliant suggestion made it for the first time – let alone repeating it 50 more times.

        • gocatsgo2003

          Who, exactly, “should be allowed to show can play SS better” than Castro?

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      Injury is exactly the reason you don’t move him over right now to keep him from blocking someone in a couple of years. You don’t know who is going to get hurt.

  • @cubsfantroy

    I am really starting to lose faith in Ian. I was happy the Cubs traded for him last year, then again happy when they resigned him this year, but it seems like injuries are going to plague him. I realize that may not be the case, but it seems like it will go that way. Or, I am just not an optimist.

  • Die hard

    That trade involved Colvin I believe- who was deemed expendable because Campana and Jackson coming up- at very least this is short sighted

    • Rcleven

      I doubt very much the trade had anything to do with that the Cubs had Jackson and Campana coming up.
      They needed a third baseman. Plain and simple.

      • Die hard

        And still do but look no further than 15 ft towards 2B

  • RY34

    jesus christ, dude is a train wreck!

    • Internet Random

      Wait… Jesus or Stewart?

      • TWC

        Die hard.

  • ChicagoMike702

    Maybe God’s benevolence?? Haha

  • Curt

    how soon do they have to cut him to pay him what he’s worth like a min salary lady player on the bench deal.

  • Spencer

    The think the Cubs need to stop saying injuries are minor and guys aren’t expected to miss much time. I know it’s just 10-14 days, but that’s quite a jump from a day or two. Just frustrating.

  • Die hard

    Also- first time. Castro daydreams at 3B and a line drive hits him square that habit will be over

  • Louie

    If Stewart can’t prove himself by the end of spring training drop him and give the job to Valbuena with Lillibridge as his backup. Then if Junior Lake is knocking the cover off the ball in the minors bring him up after the all-star break and let him join the party

  • Njriv

    I’m pretty sure the 14 days is just a precaution, I think it would be sooner than that. Guys get hurt in the beginning of camp all of the time, even more so for Garza and Stewart who missed large parts of last season and are probably pushing themselves a little too hard for this early in camp (which I’m pretty positive that was the case for Garza). I have a good feeling that Stewart is going to have a good year, new wrist and all.

  • 100 Years of Tears

    Stewart says he hasn’t run the bases in quite a while… hence the injury. What the hell was he doing for the last several months as he was rehabbing the wrist? He should have been busting his tail to ensure that he came into camp and was in “the best shape of his life”….

    • Die hard

      Exhibit A as to why he’s not future and should be cut loose- off season should have been doing mountain biking and then the hill routine started and made famous by Walter Peyton

      • DocPeterWimsey

        You’d be an idiot to try mountain biking with a bum wrist: it’s hard enough to do with two good wrists!

        As to practicing running bases, well, no standard gym routines really cover that. You can run, but that’s not like running in a pseudo-circle on dirt. You can do stretching exercises for the abdomen and chest, but that’s not the same as doing it while running. Most of the times when guys hurt themselves running the bases, it’s because they mis-step: and being in shape doesn’t help much for that. Indeed, a lot of old-schoolers claim (and they even might be right for once!) that it makes things worse: these sorts of injuries supposedly have become much more common since ballplayers went to year-round work-outs.

        • Die hard

          Are u his agent? Excuses aplenty

          • Whiteflag

            Because a response is well thought out it is an excuse?

            • MichiganGoat

              No because it is die hard his ideas are flawless and never wrong 😉

  • Dustin S

    Hope Stewart comes back soon. I’m sure it’s something they’ll be watching closely.

    It might be a bit delusional, but you start to think about a lineup if Jackson’s revamped swing gives him a Rizzo-like turnaround and if Stewart is healthy that suddenly would look a lot better this year. But it’s a long season, and I get leery of players with injury histories that can’t make it through a few days of ST without getting hurt (Kerry Wood comes to mind). If Valbeuna plays well you can almost count on the “you can’t win a position if you aren’t here” speech coming from Sveum in few weeks.

    • DB Kyle

      This is the perfect kind of year for those kinds of thoughts.

      I think our OF situation is solid enough at this point that a Brett Jackson breakout won’t move the needle much for 2013, but it would help tremendously in the long run (we’d have a long-term solution in the OF, and we’d have whatever we trade DeJesus or Soriano for).

      But a breakout season from someone at 3b would just be huge for our 2013 chances, which aren’t quite as bad as many think. Sometimes the breaks go your way, and the Cubs have put themselves within “variance range,” so to speak.

  • Rich

    Exactly this guy could not even travel with the team. Wrist surgery ? He probably could have trained other ways
    I’m sorry this guy appears that he is taking money to the bank
    I hope he is productive from the cubs standpoint
    But I simply don’t like this guy

  • Rcleven

    Off topic but the story this spring should be the pitching (or the lack of) this spring.
    I know this is only two days of in spring but Raley threw 55 pitches in two innings yesterday 28 for strikes. Alberto Cabrera struggled yesterday with four walks(Marmol all over again).
    I realize we wont be seeing either on the 25 but they are on the 40 and this concerns me.

  • cas-castro

    The hitters are always ahead of the pitchers at the beginning of ST.

  • Crazyhorse

    Shall I dare say it ……….. Rumpelstiltskin . That limpwrist is not worth my time .

  • cubzforlife

    I enjoyed Stewarts explanation what happened. The coach chided him for coasting into second until he explained that his hammy hurt. I think in was in the Sun Times story. I’ve told this before but Ian in batting practice last year was hitting glenallen hill type moonshots. If this guy ever gets it together we have a third baseman.

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  • DB Kyle

    If Stewart misses two weeks’ worth of games, he’d be back just in time for when ordinary spring training games would start most years.

    Still, anything that pushes him down and Valbuena up is good imo.

    I’m assuming his contract is like the arbitration ones in that they have to prove he’s being cut for baseball reasons. That an sometimes turn into a grievance.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Frank

    I’m not a big Stewart fan at all. If he comes back and rakes and wins the job,fine but if he’s handed the job like last year,I won’t be happy. I doubt he sees too many batting practice fastballs in the games this year. Lol on another note. I know it’s early but I’m very optimistic about bjax so far.

  • Morken

    Ian Stewart is injured? Get out of town!

    2013 is not the season of Champions, for the Cubs. Why not find out if Vitters is our future 3B? We know Stewart isn’t.

    • Jp3

      Yeah I’m over the whole IStew experiment. I’m not interested in the office saving face on that terrible Colvin trade. Colvin definitely wasn’t in the future plans but this dude hasn’t really seen the field. We all trust the front office but at this point… “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run(or not because of a bad quad)”

  • Die hard

    Fontenot available I hear to be a stop gap for 2 yrs

  • auggie1955

    As much as I hate the Ian Stewart – Tyler Colvin deal, I have to pull for Stewart to recover and have a good season. A look at Valbuena’s season by season numbers shows that he can never be more than a utility player. At least Stewart has the potential to hit 20 hrs and drive in 70 rbi. Valbuena has never reached those levels. Stewart is also an excellent fielder. I just wish that moron would stopped getting injured.

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