Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward came up short on a diving attempt in the outfield last night before ultimately departing the game. Although he’s been dealing with an ankle issue, that wasn’t what ended his night this time – it was a (dreaded) hamstring issue.
I say “dreaded” there because if Heyward has even a mild strain, it will cost him a lot of time. Guys simply do not return from mild hamstring strains within a week or two. It’s often upwards of a month, which would put it right there up against playoff time – even if you don’t see the value in the bat yet, having Heyward’s glove available in the postseason, at full health, is really important.
But let’s not freak just yet.
“Let’s wait until tomorrow to really call it,” Joe Maddon told Cubs.com last night after the game. “When I went out there, the fact that he was able to walk off the field I thought was a good thing. Being a hamstring puller, I know how bad they are. Walking off is a good sign. He’s seeing a doctor here, but I’m sure they’re going to have to do some tests, and then we’ll be more specific. You’re not going to see him play tomorrow or the next day.”
Hopefully Heyward wakes up feeling OK, and it was just tightness tied to cramping or general soreness or the shock of the dive or whatever. Something. Anything other than a strain. We could find out more later today.
However long he’s out, we’ve reached the point in the year where a disabled list stint is not really necessary – putting guys on the DL allows you to bring someone else on the 40-man roster up. Rosters expand to the full 40-man tomorrow anyway, so unless he’s going on the DL immediately and the Cubs have someone ready to come up tonight in Philadelphia, they’ll just play a guy short tonight.