Chicago Cubs shortstop/third base/outfield/future pitching prospect Junior Lake has been out of action for a few days with what the Cubs thought was something of a sore shoulder. Well, he might have a sore shoulder, but that’s no longer what’s keeping him out: Dale Sveum told the media today that an MRI revealed that Lake’s got a broken rib of the “stress fracture” variety. (It’s probably up around the back part of the rib that approaches the shoulder area. I’m just guessing.)
Lake, 22, will now miss four to six weeks of action. It’s really unfortunate timing as the Cubs look to figure out what they have in the enigmatic talent. He missed time early last year, too, with an injury. He wasn’t a threat to make the roster or anything, but I could see a scenario where the Cubs really need to know what they think his future will be when the Trade Deadline rolls around. Now the window in which to explore his positional possibilities has shrunk considerably.
He also needs the at bats, frankly.
Hopefully he’ll be back to 100% by mid-May, and will still have plenty of time to put in a mostly full season at AAA this year. It’s not a super serious injury, but it’s still unfortunate. You hate to see this kind of stuff with guys at such a critical development stage.