Although the Cubs have dealt with the normal run of injuries that all teams face, the one area of the roster that’s been pretty healthy all year has been in the bullpen.
With Koji Uehara clearly feeling the effects of a bum neck last night, though, we are reminded that no one is invulnerable, no matter the role (especially at age 42).
Uehara was dealing with neck stiffness last night when he was removed from the game, though it’s not expected to be a serious injury (ESPN). Uehara suggested after the game that he’ll take off today, and with the off-day on Thursday, he could be better by Friday (Cubs.com).
Meanwhile, and perhaps of more concern given his resurgence, Hector Rondon is dealing with back stiffness. Joe Maddon said he believes Rondon will be good to go today (Cubs.com), but did not want to push him yesterday. You’ll forgive Cubs fans who are having traumatic flashbacks; it was this time last year that Rondon was just going to sit for a day or two with triceps soreness that not only wound up costing him quite a bit of time, he wasn’t the same after the injury until, really, only the last couple months.
Rondon, who has a 2.89 ERA and 2.01 FIP since June 18, hasn’t appeared in a game in over a week. Some of that is just a matter of circumstance (he was set to close out the series finale against the Nationals before the 8th inning went sideways), but it does make you wonder. And if the Cubs wanted to bolster the bullpen, they could DL Rondon, back-date it to the first, and he would only miss today’s game and Friday’s game. It doesn’t sound like that’s in the plans, but I thought I’d just point it out.