Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

javier baez defenseA quick check in on some healing Cubs …

  • As you likely gleaned from his scheduled start in the Series Preview, Jason Hammel’s latest side session on Saturday went well, and he’s on track to start in Cincinnati on Tuesday ( If he comes out of that clean and looking normal, the Cubs will have dodged an enormous bullet. They also got in some nice rest for Hammel’s arm in the process.
  • Although Javier Baez (broken finger) started baseball activities recently in Arizona, he’s not likely to return to game action at AAA Iowa for another two or three weeks, according to his manager (Tommy Birch). Baez, who may have been on the verge of a call-up when he broke his finger in early June, was cleared for baseball activities last week. If Baez is back at Iowa in two to three weeks, that would put him right in the far-end range of estimates for his return. A broken finger in the middle of the season is a bummer. Hopefully Baez returns in early August, doesn’t take long getting back into the swing of things, and makes an impact for the Cubs down the stretch.
  • UPDATE on Baez, and it’s more optimistic:

  • There’s still no real update on Tommy La Stella (oblique). I can only imagine how frustrating this year has been for him, and it’s undoubtedly been frustrating for the Cubs, who specifically went out and targeted La Stella in the offseason. Given Addison Russell’s adjustments at the big league level, given Baez’s injury, and given Arismendy Alcantara’s ineffectiveness at the big league level, La Stella likely would have gotten a lot of playing time this year. Alas.
  • Zac Rosscup has pitched effectively in the Arizona Rookie League as he rehabs his shoulder issue, and he’s probably going to be heading out to a higher level for a rehab assignment soon. Indeed, he might wind up at AAA Iowa, where he presumably would have been optioned anyway, given the Cubs’ full bullpen. Getting him back and healthy, though, is going to be important for the stretch run – you don’t know what other injuries might pop up, and, when roster expand to 40 in September, he can be a weapon.

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