Not much in the way of details yet on this one, but today’s Chicago Cubs starter Jason Hammel left the game before the start of the third inning. By all accounts, he threw his warmup pitches between innings, appeared to feel something in his right leg, and wasn’t able to work it out to stay in the game.
Hopefully it’s just a cramp, because we saw how much a non-arm issue (a right hamstring strain) can impact performance last year, when Hammel clearly wasn’t the same in the second half.
We’ll just see what the official word is when it’s available. For now, Travis Wood took over today’s game.
UPDATE: The official word from the Cubs:
Jason Hammel is being evaluated after experiencing right hamstring cramping. pic.twitter.com/8oSaDXI1jO
— #VoteCubs (@Cubs) May 30, 2016
Sometimes, cramping is just cramping. It’s a one-time thing that, with some fluids and rest, is a total non-issue the next day (or next start).
Other times, in my completely non-medical experience (by which I mean only having followed stories like this for many years), the sensation of cramping is a symptom of an issue. That seems to be the kind of thing you can’t really know unless you get an MRI, so we’ll see how the Cubs proceed from here. Even if we next learn that an MRI has been scheduled, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a serious problem here – it just means that obvious, no-big-deal temporary cramping couldn’t be confirmed. Fingers crossed for the latter, but if an MRI is necessary, hopefully there’s no strain in there.
We’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE 2: Tentative early optimism that it was, indeed, just a cramp:
Cubs think Jason Hammel will be fine for his next start. Just a cramp they believe
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) May 31, 2016
Maddon on Hammel: "At this particular moment we think he's going to be fine for his next start."
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) May 31, 2016
#Cubs Maddon says doesn't look like Hammel will miss next start
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 31, 2016