The Cubs have a variety of injuries they’re working through right now, mostly – KNOCK ON WOOD – minor injuries, and some positive updates on a couple of them.
- Yu Darvish was able to play catch yesterday, which is a good sign that his blister won’t be a huge issue. But there’s still a bit more to go before he can make his next spring start, and then start in that first series against the Rangers:
Darvish played catch today and came out of it fine. Next step is a bullpen currently scheduled for Friday. Still possible that he pitches in a minor league game on Sunday (or big-league game vs. SD in Peoria) and him being pushed back to start the season isn't ruled out either
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) March 20, 2019
- Joe Maddon said Darvish says he’s “ready to rock and roll,” so certainly Darvish does not anticipate any change to his schedule (Cubs.com). Obviously you want Darvish to start the season on time, but you definitely don’t want to do anything stupid, and turn a three-day blister healing process into a two-week on-and-off problem. As Maddon puts it: “We just have to make sure that when he goes out and pitches that there’s no real chance to open it up again.”
- Even if Darvish couldn’t go in that opening series in Arlington, you figure he’d just be pushed back later in the rotation (there are two off-days that first week). This is not likely to be a “missing time” situation.
- Daniel Descalso was able to take some swings this week, and now we see if he can get some extra at bats in minor league games this final week of Spring Training to be ready for Opening Day:
Descalso (left shoulder) said he felt fine swinging a bat on Tuesday. Plans to do some hitting again Wednesday. Still not ruled out for Opening Day.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 20, 2019
Maddon confirms Descalso looking more ready for opening day. Expected to get extra ABs at minor league camp later this week
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) March 20, 2019
- If Descalso can’t go, the Cubs would likely decide between carrying an extra utility infielder in Cristhian Adames, or an extra outfielder in Mark Zagunis. Of those two, Zagunis has a few things going for him: the roster is already pretty full up on guys who can play in the infield, his righty bat might play especially well against the Rangers (they have a couple lefty starters near the front of the rotation), and he is already on the 40-man roster. If the Cubs opted for Adames, they’d have to add him to the 40-man roster, and then he doesn’t have minor league options left, so he would have to clear waivers to be sent to the minors. Zagunis could just be optioned.