dexter fowler outfieldAny little thing this close to the start of the season is going to make me a touch nervous, even if the words “minor” and “precautionary” and “chill out, Brett” are thrown around liberally.

Dexter Fowler left today’s game after a first inning homer with what is being termed “tightness in his left side” (Muskat, Mooney). (It was not due to the bee attack.)

Muskat’s report adds that the removal was precautionary, and the issue is considered minor. Hopefully that’s still the case when Fowler wakes up tomorrow, because obviously when you hear about tightness in the side, you start thinking about the oblique, which can keep a hitter out for a very long time if it’s serious enough. For now, there’s no reason to believe this is that.



Still, it was earlier this spring that Tommy La Stella and Shane Victorino were scratched/held back for precautionary reasons tied to their calves, and Victorino is still trying to come back, while La Stella only just made it back into Cactus League play. That is to say: sometimes minor and precautionary can mean a long time, especially in Spring Training when the stakes are so low. So, if you don’t see Fowler back in a game for a while, that alone is not a reason for panic.

If a disabled list stint is required, the Cubs do have some nice options, with Jason Heyward able to play center field, and Jorge Soler able to slide into the starting group (you know, the plan before Fowler re-signed). The Cubs would also be able to keep Matt Szczur around for now.

I won’t go too far with the ifs and buts right now, since we won’t know more for a little bit yet. For now, we know only that he was removed, it’s being called minor, and now is the time of year when teams truly are aggressive about being overly cautious.




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