Good news and bad news up there, eh?
Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras has been suspended two games (and fined) for his actions in yesterday’s game, which included lots of (justified) angry arguing, and a face mask slam while he was being ejected (unfairly), which bounced sideways and hit the ump. The suspension is the height of insanity and ridiculousness, and Contreras is appealing.
Like I said earlier, any time something contacts the umpire, there’s going to be discipline, but this is completely absurd. If Contreras had spiked the mask in the direction of the ump? Maybe. But he turned away from the ump, and the damn thing bounced straight sideways.
Hopefully the suspension is at least reduced to one game, and then he can just take a normal day to rest. The Cubs can’t afford to be without Contreras for two games right now. Well, I mean, they could afford it, but they shouldn’t have to.
John Lackey was fined for his feistiness, which is to be expected.
Meanwhile, Addison Russell has been activated off of the disabled list (plantar fasciitis) at long last, and is available off of the bench:
Addison Russell activated today, available off the bench. Willson Contreras fined and suspended two games. He's appealing. Lackey fined.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) September 16, 2017
My guess is that means his workout today went really well, and the Cubs feel good enough about his ability to take an at bat and run the bases if necessary. I tentatively doubt we’ll see him in the field at any point today. The Cubs will be easing him back in over the coming week.
If Russell stays healthy and works back up to full-time duty over the next two weeks, that would be a significant boon to the Cubs’ overall defense, which can shift Javy Baez and his magic glove back over to second base.