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nomar injured cubsWhen you consider the injury stories from around baseball, the Chicago Cubs – KNOCK ON THE BIGGEST PIECE OF WOOD YOU CAN FIND – have had it pretty easy this Spring.

  • Mike Olt’s shoulder fatigue really doesn’t sound like much of a deal, at least not beyond the shoulder soreness that has prevented him from playing third base all Spring long. And it’s possible that he simply got yesterday off so that he could rest up in advance of a debut at third base in tonight’s game against the Rangers. As Olt put it to Cubs.com: “I’m just trying to get ready to play third. I think I’ve been putting a little toll on [my shoulder]. My main goal is to get out and play third. It’s definitely not a setback or anything like that. We just felt like,’Hey, if we want to get out there soon, we have to take it easy.'” Narratives are a funny thing: if Olt had never been in yesterday’s lineup (and then subsequently removed), we probably would have thought nothing about it. And then if he played tonight at third base, we would have been all, “see! things are coming along just fine, progressing normally, and now he’ll play some third!” So, here’s hoping Olt plays third base tonight, and this shoulder fatigue thing becomes the nothing it always probably was. The shoulder soreness, of course, remains something to watch, if you can appreciate that distinction.
  • Starlin Castro tells Cubs.com his hamstring is up to 80%, and he could run the bases today for the first time since he went down over two weeks ago. He’s hitting and fielding, and doing all that stuff already. It’s the running at full speed that’s the real final hurdle before he can get back into game action. Once he’s ready for that, the Cubs might send him off to play some minor league Spring Training games in which he can get extra at bats. All in all, if he’s ready for game action by the end of this week, I will have no concerns whatsoever about his readiness for Opening Day (not just in terms of health, but baseball preparedness).
  • Jake Arrieta’s shoulder must be feeling pretty good. He tells the Tribune that, as part of his conditioning, he rowed 5,000 meters on a machine on Monday. Arrieta told Jesse Rogers he felt good after this weekend’s live BP session, by the way. All is proceeding well.
  • James McDonald’s shoulder isn’t doing as well, but we don’t yet know the extent of the issue. Rick Renteria tells Cubs.com that the focus right now is on making sure McDonald is OK, and he’s not really saying what will happen to McDonald vis a vis the fifth starter job. The Cubs have options outside of McDonald obviously, and it’s hard to see a guy who had serious shoulder problems in 2013 being rushed back after experiencing shoulder discomfort in Spring Training. Hopefully it’s nothing serious, but, even if it’s not, McDonald could be in for a DL stint to start the year.
  • Professional High A

    I am going to the game tonight, hopefully I’ll finally get to see Olt play third. Was not happy about the lineup yesterday against the angels.

  • JB88

    Not to poo poo rowing 5000 meters or anything, but, for the record, that is about 15 minutes worth of rowing. And it works your back and legs a lot more than your shoulders.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It sounded like a lot, but I’m really more of a bench guy.

      :)

  • Steve

    McDonald’s release point has been in 50 different places when I watched him this spring…as it was during his decline. When he was a Pirate, I remember thinking he was really going to be something. The Cubs must have thought Bosio could fix his mechanics….??

  • candyland07

    Olt has been a pleasant surprise in camp . he seems to be hitting and his development for the most part has been positive- he is not sitting on the bench with a eye-patch. Castro should injury seems to be improving. I have full confidence the Front office will take good care in his recovery and not rush him back. Hopefully the Cubs will cut James McDonald . I don’t think Cubs are in desperate situation to sign that player . They have pitchers that can walk to the mound and play hard . Mr McDonald time with Cubs hopefully is short . I dont see him being a team player nor a positive role model for the bullpen or in clubhouse.

    • Kyle

      He’s striking out 38% of the time and hasn’t been able to play 3b because of a soulder injury. The only pleasant surprise has been the 3 HRs.

      • brickhouse

        Olt has also yet to take a walk and has a 240 OBP – I think expectations need to be raised on what is a pleasant surprise.

        • JCubs79

          Olt has taken like 4 walks in ST.

      • newsguy23

        I think as long as management is happy with Olt, they may know a tad more than you

        • Kyle

          When they and I disagree on a third baseman, their history isn’t so great.

        • brickhouse

          Was mgmt happy with Stewart

  • DarthHater

    When I saw the headline, I thought for a second that maybe Rock Shoulders has a younger brother named McDonald.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Mike Olt is looking good?!?

    Mike Olt hasn’t played 3rd base yet, is sporting a sparkling .240 OBP and is striking out at a pace that would make Brett Jackson blush…

  • newsguy23

    Too much negativity on here. Time to find a new site. Hope The Cubs are all you find shitty in the world.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      newsguy23 2014/02/28 at 3:40 pm

      “seems troubling that the Cubs have a crapload of scrap hoping someone will make it. Will be nice when spring training comes and you pretty much know whose making the club.”

      newsguy23 2014/02/20 at 11:47 am

      “Thanks for the article Jonah. I am pretty sure I did not need to read a story telling me the Cubs blow. Pretty obvious unless you are drinking something special.”

      newsguy23 2014/01/23 at 10:57 am

      “It took me 10 minutes to remember my password as I don’t comment much here anymore. Seems to be the same old people railing on the same people. Not to uphold anyone but I like the fact that Jon has balls and doesn’t drink the crap that he is being served. He is being quite honest with his thoughts. I actually like it. It just seems to be Brett is always on the side of management, payroll like. I enjoy the fact that someone can disagree and have his thoughts.”

      I can only assume you’re trying to improve the negativity quotient by removing yourself from the equation?

    • brickhouse

      Hard to believe there are any negative comments after 4 straight 5th place finishes and expectations for a 5th straight 5th place finish.

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