Well, we’ve finally reached that part of the Spring where you gaze upon your favorite team’s roster and realize, “Hey … there are a lot of injured guys.” It happens to every team this time of year, and you just hope that your team’s injuries are relatively minor, are a positions of relative depth, and/or involve players who aren’t expected to contribute meaningfully early.
For the Cubs, there’s a large contingent of “injured” players right now, but, for the most part, it’s all pretty bearable. Here’s the latest on the convalescing crew …
- Jon Lester reiterated what Joe Maddon said: the arm doesn’t hurt, if it were the season he’d be playing, it’s all precautionary, etc. (Cubs.com, CSN). It’s something all pitchers deal with at some point, according to Lester, and he’s dealt with it before (even in the season). So, tentatively, there’s no reason to be concerned right now. And if Lester makes his next Spring start – he’s currently scheduled for Thursday – and seems healthy then, we can mostly forget all about this.
- Starlin Castro was scratched yesterday because of a tight groin, and he’s currently day to day (CSN). I’m guessing it’s pretty minor at this point, because it’s not getting a ton of attention, and players are held out of Spring games if there’s even small things wrong – no sense in not doing it. Castro missed most of the last two Spring Training seasons with hamstring issues. (UPDATE: Sure enough, as I’m writing this, reports indicate Castro feels good, will take today and tomorrow off, and will return to the lineup Tuesday (Gonzales, Muskat).)
- Dexter Fowler was dealing with a minor issue – hit by a foul ball, I think – but he was back in the lineup yesterday, so all appears to be well.
- Matt Szczur is still recovering from the after-effects of his wall collision, and it sounds like it’s been an ankle that’s bothering him. He took BP yesterday, according to Cubs.com, and, although he didn’t get into the game, he was listed as available.
- There’s nothing new that I’ve seen or heard on Tsuyoshi Wada, who’s been dealing with a groin issue (after dealing with a hamstring issue earlier this Spring). If he’s not throwing yet, a DL stint to start the season as he builds up arm strength seems increasingly likely.
- We already know that Jacob Turner will start the season on the DL, because he had to take a month off from throwing after being diagnosed with a mild flexor strain and a bone bruise in his elbow. You can read his comments on the injury here from Carrie Muskat, and it definitely sounds like an “out of an abundance of caution” situation. The doctors felt it could become a worse injury if Turner didn’t give it some rest, so that’s what he’s doing. Given his age (23), his upside, the rotation depth, and his options situation (he’s out of them), it makes sense to be extremely cautious with Turner, and let him round into form come April in the minor leagues on a rehab assignment.
- And then there’s Kris Bryant, who had some shoulder fatigue, but re-entered the defensive alignment yesterday at third base, and, by all accounts looked fine there. He made several strong throws, and seems to be feeling fine.