Good News on Dexter Fowler's Side Tightness, Awaiting Update on Javier Baez's Thumb

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Good News on Dexter Fowler’s Side Tightness, Awaiting Update on Javier Baez’s Thumb

Chicago Cubs
Not unlike the Jake Arrieta blister stuff, the concern about Dexter Fowler’s side issue was not especially high after he left yesterday’s game, because (1) it was termed a minor issue and a precautionary thing, (2) there’s still a week before the season starts, and (3) the Cubs do have good outfield depth options to reorganize things if necessary.

But the concern is even lower now, after Fowler told some fine folks in the media today that it’s all good:

So, all is well with Fowler, and he might rest a few days yet. Might as well.

About that Baez part, though. As we discussed this weekend, Baez has been out for over a week now after jamming his thumb, and I find it interesting that Ben Zobrist is starting at shortstop today for the Cubs. If Baez has to start the season on the DL, it would be nice to know that you’ve got a back-up shortstop available without definitely-absolutely having to carry Munenori Kawasaki if you didn’t otherwise want to.

That said, if Baez starts the season on the DL, I think you can pretty much bank on Kawasaki being added to the 40-man roster and making the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. Without Baez’s glove on the bench, the Cubs will have to have someone who can be excellent defensively in the infield, if necessary (and Kawasaki also runs the bases really well).

Back to Zobrist, though: even if Kawasaki is on the roster, it’s still good to keep Zobrist fresh and able at shortstop, where he played a handful of games in 2012-14 with the Rays, but none at all last year with the A’s and Royals. Flexibility, options, and all that.

Hopefully this is all largely mooted by a healthy Baez, but we’ll see about that when we see about that.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.