Cubs Injury Updates: Bryant and Morrow Haven't Resumed Baseball Activities, Darvish Still Working

Social Navigation

Cubs Injury Updates: Bryant and Morrow Haven’t Resumed Baseball Activities, Darvish Still Working

Chicago Cubs

As I’m sure you’re all painfully aware by now, three of the Cubs’ best players – Kris Bryant (shoulder), Brandon Morrow (biceps), and Yu Darvish (elbow) – are all on the disabled list with no obvious end in sight.

Bryant and Morrow, in particular, present difficult cases to project, because each has hit the disabled list twice already this season. Bryant’s injury doesn’t seem to be one that is just going to go away any time soon, and Morrow is an oft-injured pitcher who’s dealing with an injury he’s not yet experienced in his big league career. And then, of course, there’s Yu Darvish, whose extended absence has begun to draw national criticism, whose comments generate more confusion than clarity, and whose timetable for return may actually be the hardest to project.

The rub? Each one of these players – when healthy – could COMPLETELY change the the trajectory of the team this season, and each arguably carries potential to be the most valuable player of their position group. “Our [disabled list] is fabulous,” Cubs Manager Joe Maddon told “It’s an All-Pro DL. These guys could play in the Pro Bowl every year. Among the three of those guys, wow, what great acquisitions. Getting them back will make us look entirely differently.”

Yeah, well … what’s the latest?! Has there been any progress?

Well, no. Or, at least, not much. According to Carrie Muskat, Kris Bryant, who’s been dealing with inflammation in his left shoulder, has “yet to resume baseball activities.” He last played on July 23, has had two MRIs this season and two DL stints. He was given another cortisone shot for the pain and inflammation a few days ago and is eligible to return from the DL on Thursday, but probably will not.

The first step will be resuming baseball activities, and since he hasn’t done that yet, he’s probably not close. There’s no indication of whether he’ll need a rehab stint first, but that tends to depend on how long he’ll be gone. Striking that balance could be tricky.

Not unlike Bryant, Brandon Morrow, the Cubs closer, has “not picked up a baseball,” according to Carrie Muskat, which means he’s also not close to returning. To be clear, he was eligible to come off the DL this past weekend and still hasn’t picked up a baseball. When he does finally get up to throwing off the mound, he, too, might require a rehab assignment. The Cubs will very much need their closer if they hope to make it deep into October, so here’s to him coming back with enough time to sharpen up.

And finally, we get to Darvish. Despite being, perhaps, the biggest mystery of the bunch with the longest time away from the big leagues, Darvish is actually the only on a path we can reasonably follow. He’s already thrown two bullpen sessions, which is very good news, the latter of which went … well? If you missed it, Darvish reportedly felt “discomfort” and “pretty severe” pain … until he tweaked something in his mechanics and his pain went away. Or something. Our general opinion on the matter is that something is being lost in translation, because, frankly, something that causes you “severe pain” is not usually immediately remedied by dropping an inch or two on your arm slot, or whatever, then continuing to throw. With any luck, Darvish will throw a third and final bullpen session before facing some live hitters in the coming week, and getting out on his rehab assignment within a week or so of that.

From there, it could be 2-3 starts before he’s back in the big leagues, hopefully as soon as the beginning of September. If he can come back by then, he can use the 4-5 September starts to tune up and show the Cubs what he’s got for the postseason. A healthy, effective Darvish could increase the Cubs odds in the postseason by a disproportionately large amount.

Cross your fingers, because the Cubs could use their three positional group MVPs back – as soon as possible.

Latest from Bleacher Nation:

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami