Generally-speaking, the Cubs aren’t dealing with a huge number of serious injury issues right now. A handful of guys are recovering from various ailments, though, and it sounds like “cautious” is the word of the day …
- When Starlin Castro went down earlier this Spring Training with a mild hamstring strain, everyone was confident that it was far less serious than the strain that cost him two weeks last Spring Training. Well, either it was a little worse than folks thought, or the Rick Renteria regime is far more cautious about injuries than the Dale Sveum iteration, because Castro isn’t likely to get back into a game until at least the two week mark. Castro’s injury occurred on March 2, and initially came with a 7 to 10-day diagnosis before returning to games. We’re on day 9 now, and RR doesn’t see Castro getting back into a game until next week (Cubs.com). That would actually put him well past the two week mark, meaning he will have missed more time this year for a lesser injury than he did last year. In the end, none of this really bothers or concerns me, so long as Castro gets in a solid 10 games to get ready for the season.
- The approach is similarly cautious with Jake Arrieta, whom you may recall came to camp with some shoulder tightness, and has thus been behind the other pitchers. Arrieta is expected to throw a 60-pitch bullpen session tomorrow, though he was hoping to be facing hitters by now (Cubs.com). Even if his next session after that is live BP, perhaps this weekend, you’ve gotta figure he’ll need about a week from there to be ready for game action. That would give him time for just one or two Spring starts before the season gets underway. Even Arrieta admits he needs at least three game appearances to be ready for the season, so it sounds very likely that he’ll begin the season on the disabled list and will stick around extended Spring Training to get in additional work before returning to the Cubs in mid-to-late April.
- Ryan Sweeney’s knee injury doesn’t sound all that serious, as he planned to already be participating in outfield work as of yesterday, per Cubs.com. Apparently he twisted his knee chasing down a ball in the outfield on Sunday when his cleat slipped on a hard surface. Patrick Mooney reports that Sweeney could return to action as soon as today.
- MIKE OLT! is getting closer to actually playing the position he’s trying to win in Spring Training. Olt tells Jesse Rogers that he’s been throwing normally at third the last few days, and Rick Renteria says Olt will make a start over there “shortly.”