There are a variety of injuries and injury updates to discuss …
- It sounds like David DeJesus’s recovery from a shoulder sprain is going well, although he tells Cubs.com that he’s not sure he’ll be able to surprise folks and make it back before the All-Star break in mid-July. DeJesus isn’t doing any baseball activities yet, but he’s been relieved to have avoided surgery. If DeJesus does return at the All-Star break and shows he’s healthy in the final two and a half weeks of July, the Cubs will probably at least have the option of shopping DeJesus (without a reduction in value) at the Trade Deadline. Whether you want the Cubs to keep DeJesus or not – he’s a great clubhouse guy and a great approach guy, and the Cubs hold a $6.5 million option on him for 2014 – you want the Cubs to at least have the option of dealing him.
- Brett Jackson, who was dismissed as a replacement on the big team when DeJesus went down, wouldn’t have been able to replace DeJesus for long anyway, as he’s just gone on the DL with a calf strain. It’s been a tough year for Jackson, who missed time earlier with turf toe and a shoulder injury, and is hitting just .223/.300/.367 with 77 strikeouts in 242 plate appearances.
- Jorge Soler’s shin/calf soreness, which landed him on the DL last week, still has him out of action, although he was eligible to come off of the DL several days ago. No one expressed any concern when Soler started missing games, and Cubs Scouting and Player Development Chief Jason McLeod has described the issue as mere “soreness,” per Cubs.com. Soler could start playing again any day now, and you can understand the Cubs wanting to make sure he’s completely pain free before starting games – a little soreness in the shin could lead to worsened injury or an entirely separate injury if he’s favoring that leg.
- McLeod also discussed Josh Vitters’ ongoing injury issues with Cubs.com, saying that Vitters has had some kind of un-specified setback in his Arizona rehab (McLeod would only say that Vitters is “battling some nicks and bruises”), and there’s no time table for his return to AAA Iowa. It really sucks for Vitters, who needed the 2013 season to show that his ugly debut in the big leagues last year was the fluke, not his excellent 2012 season at Iowa. This year is quickly becoming a lost one for the 23-year-old.
- Lastly from McLeod on the prospect injury front, we’ve finally got something solid on Cuban pitching prospect Gerardo Concepcion, who’s been missing all year. We knew that he was in Arizona rehabbing some kind of injury, but that was about it. McLeod says Concepcion is dealing with back issues, and will not pitch until the instructional league this Fall. Back issues can certainly be serious, and maybe Concepcion had surgery that put him out of action of several months. It would be fair to guess, though, that given Concepcion’s rough transition to the States last year (and subsequent sickness with mono), the Cubs may not have wanted Concepcion pitching in a league this year anyway. Instructional ball might be the best thing for him after an injury/sickness recovery, and the Cubs can really work with him. He’s only 21.