Chicago Cubs starting shortstop Addison Russell, who was nearing a return to the Majors from a minor league rehab assignment before being scratched from Wednesday’s Iowa Cubs game, was sent to Chicago for more evaluation and an MRI, and … will miss another three weeks. Damn.
If you recall, Russell has been sidelined with plantar fasciitis in his right foot since August 3, but was expected to return to Chicago as soon as this weekend (and he thought it could’ve been even earlier than that).
However, after experiencing some pain in his right foot before Wednesday’s game, Russell was scratched and flew back to Chicago to be examined. According to Carrie Muskat (Cubs.com), the results of an MRI revealed that Russell re-aggravated the plantar faciitis in his right foot, and, by the sounds of it, he’ll have a good deal more time on the shelf.
Given that there’s almost exactly one month left in the season, you’re looking at a best case scenario of Russell returning for the last week (or so) of the regular season, and using that small slate of games to get back into form for the playoffs.
In the meantime, thanks to September roster expansion, the Cubs are expected to call up infielder Mike Freeman, 30, who signed a minor league deal with the team back on August 6. According to John Sickels, Freeman, who bats lefty, has/can played both middle infield positions as well as every spot in then outfield. He lacks power, as his .086 ISO at Triple-A this season reflects, but he’s got some speed.
With any luck, however, the Cubs will see very, very little of Freeman. From what I can garner, he’s simply there in case of the nightmare scenario: Javy Baez gets injured within the next 3-4 weeks.
More likely, Baez will continue starting at short for the remainder of the year, and Ben Zobrist/Freeman will give him a breather from time time. But remember: the Cubs are in the middle of a 20-game stretch without any off-days. Javy’s a beast, but he’ll likely need a day off at some point.
Hopefully, Russell’s recovery goes smoothly this time, and rejoins his team with plenty of time to get into shape for the playoffs. Oh, and hopefully the Cubs are in the playoffs. I should probably add that. Yeah.