A quintet of Cubs injury notes to update you on this morning, mostly good-ish, but at least one really big bummer.
I guess I’ll just start with that one. Remember when top Cubs prospect Nico Hoerner took a pitch off his wrist last month, and we were all excited that at least there was no break, and he was probably going to be fine? And then he didn’t play for a month? Well, it’s actually kinda worse than that:
Nico Hoerner, last year's first-round pick, experienced a setback after beginning a hitting progression at the Cubs complex in Arizona: A CT scan revealed a hairline fracture in the wrist area, which will leave him in a splint for three weeks.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) May 20, 2019
Last year's first-rounder, Nico Hoerner, who had been hit on wrist by pitch, had setback and CT scan revealed hairline fracture after all. Out for at least a month from here, Theo said.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) May 20, 2019
In other words, the swelling and such finally receded on what was thought to be only a deep bruise and inflammation, he started to swing again some more, must have felt something, went in for a CT scan, and there it was – a fracture all along.
And moreover, a fracture in the wrist area for a hitter who is trying to develop his power? That has the potential to be a longer-term issue to overcome. The Cubs are right, in that sense, to shut him back down and completely rest that thing, because there can be no effing around with a hitter’s wrists. Here’s hoping it’s truly a minor fracture, he can heal completely, and still get in a normal couple months of work. At least I hope to see him playing in July and August, fully healthy and showing no ill-effects. Fingers crossed so hard.
On the more positive side of things, there is still no indication that Javy Baez’s bruised heel is anything worse than that, and, after taking last night off, maybe he gets a chance to get right back out there tonight (Cubs.com). Even if he sits tonight, too – against a righty who is very tough on righties – I wouldn’t necessarily freak.
Out in the bullpen, the Cubs have two back-end arms on the mend:
Strop threw 25 pitches in a side today and will have another in a couple days. Morrow threw from 45-60 feet flat ground today and came out of it fine.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) May 20, 2019
Although the Cubs *MUST* be cautious with Pedro Strop’s hamstring (his third hamstring injury in nine months, and second to that particular hamstring), it helps that he could keep throwing on flat ground while his hamstring recovered. That means, if he does throw another bullpen mid-week, it’s conceivable he could hit up a rehab stint as soon as next week, and then a return somewhere around next weekend. It hasn’t even been two weeks since he hit the IL, so that would be an incredible fast return for a hamstring injury (let alone for a guy who has had the injury recently before). I might just set my hopes a little less aggressive than that to guard my heart.
As for Morrow, you know the drill: he was trying to come back from elbow surgery, which followed a lost half-season to a stress reaction (and other issues in the elbow area), and he got up to facing live hitters when he felt more pain. He got a lubricating injection, and rested. So now he’s back to the start of the throwing progression, which is going to be very slow and steady over the next month (if things go well!). So, the best case scenario remains a return around the All-Star break.
Lastly, on Ian Happ, who left yesterday’s Iowa Cubs game after taking a ground ball off the hand, his injury was to a finger, but is not believed to be serious (Gonzales).