As he sat on the ground, grimacing in pain and unable to move his arm in the way you’d like to see a baseball player able to do so, you had two thoughts about Javy Baez last night: that elbow is broken, or maybe his arms just went numb. You feared the first, and you hoped for the second.
The Cubs announced mid-game that, for the time being, they had diagnosed Baez with a contusion (i.e., bruise), but that X-rays could be coming. The fact that the Cubs made that announcement certainly suggested they were optimistic that whole Baez-holding-up-his-arm-like-a-ragdoll thing was about temporary numbness and pain, rather than a fracture.
We’ll still see what’s what later today when the Cubs return to Wrigley Field, but Baez, himself, echoed that optimism last night:
Javy said he didn't move his arm for roughly an hour after getting hit in elbow. No X-rays yet, holding off to see if it gets better on its own.
Believe it or not, Javy wouldn't rule out playing Monday night at Wrigley.
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) June 18, 2018
"I'm good," says Javier Baez, who isn't sure if his left elbow will even need an X-ray and won't rule out playing Monday night at Wrigley.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) June 18, 2018
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) June 18, 2018
To be sure, whatever today reveals, this is a better outcome than Baez immediately heading to a hospital to get his elbow put in a cast.
But, I’ll temper the extreme optimism just a bit, even if only to protect myself. We know that guys can wake up the next day feeling a whole lot more discomfort than they were the night before, and then subsequent testing reveals an issue.
Moreover, even if there really is nothing more than a bone bruise and numbness, that pain can linger a long time, and who knows how that could impact the way Baez uses his lightning quick left arm.
Moreover, even if Baez is feeling great today, I’d still expect him to get a little time to rest things. Tonight’s Dodgers starter, Kenta Maeda, has been brutal on righties this year anyway.