Sometimes, a guy gets hurt, and it’s impossible not to notice – like when Mike Olt took a 96mph fastball off of his wrist. Thanks to his adamantium-encased bones, however, nothing was broken. Olt said that his wrist wasn’t even swollen the next day (Cubs.com).
Olt managed to pinch hit yesterday, and even played in the field for the 9th inning. Depending on his soreness this week, he could be back to semi-regular duty, hopefully not feeling any after-effects.
Other times, a guy gets hurt, and it’s not really in front of us to see. Such is the case with Tommy La Stella, who started each of the first two games of the season, and then didn’t appear in any of the games in Colorado. It turns out that he’s dealing with a sore side (Cubs.com, Tribune). He didn’t even take any swings this weekend, and he’ll be re-evaluated today. He described the problem as a vague discomfort to the Tribune, so hopefully the Cubs were just proactively resting him, and he’ll be 100% soon enough (please no oblique injuries, because those can linger for months).
Presumably, the Cubs would like to avoid making a roster move if it all possible, not only because of the inevitable awkwardness of bringing up a player that isn’t named Kris Bryant, but also because of the potential 40-man roster implications. Not so much because of a crowded roster – it stands at just 39 now, with plenty of flexibility – but because of the possibility of having to add someone like Chris Valaika, and then possibly lose him thereafter when taking him off the 40-man. Maybe you’re not too worried about losing a Valaika (or a Jonathan Herrera, or whoever), but these kinds of injuries demonstrate that the depth is necessary, and you’d rather not lose anyone if at all possible.
If the Cubs do wind up having to send La Stella to the disabled list, Valaika seems like the most likely call-up, unless the Cubs opt to go with an outfielder like Junior Lake. Carrie Muskat notes that Welington Castillo has been working out at third base in case of emergency.