Despite the fact that the Cubs are dealing with injuries to several significant players, it doesn’t feel like you’d attribute any of their recent struggles to being decimated by injury.
For one thing, the Cubs’ superior depth has allowed them at almost all times to field a lineup and a rotation that you look at and think, “Yeah, that’s solid.” So you don’t notice the injuries as much as you might have a few years ago.
But more importantly on this point, I think the reason we don’t think of the Cubs as being decimated by injuries is because the overall inconsistency and repeat struggles are not necessarily attributable to guys being out. Instead, lots of guys who would be playing either way have struggled. And some of the guys who are out were dealing with their own struggles, too.
In any case, updating a few of those injuries …
- Fingers crossed – well, not the middle right finger, just to be safe – but Kyle Hendricks may throw this weekend to test how his tendinitis is feeling (Cubs.com). If all goes well, it’s possible Hendricks could go for a rehab outing soon, and then return to the big league team before the All-Star break. I wouldn’t necessarily count on that, but it’s possible. Whenever a pitcher goes on the DL, man. Never assume he’ll be right back, no matter how minor it seems.
- On the bad news front, Ben Zobrist is not close to a return, apparently. Although there were previous indications that he was optimistic he could return when his DL stint was up (yesterday), that obviously didn’t happen, and Joe Maddon said his return is not imminent (Cubs.com). The process has been very discouraging given how long Zobrist played through the wrist issue for which he’s now DL’d. I can’t speak to how that exactly came about – I’m sure everyone had their reasons – but in retrospect, it obviously would have been a very good idea to DL him much sooner.
- Jason Heyward (abrasion on his left hand) could be back as soon as his DL stint is up on Thursday. As long as he can take some swings without pain before then, I’m not sure he’s going to need a rehab outing to get going. It’s unfortunate that he will have had to miss 10 days because of a bad scrape, but the flip side of that is if you’re going to miss time, you’d rather it was for something you know for sure will heal up just fine with enough time.