Hey, how about some more good news for your Monday? This is me typing in sarcasm!
I saw this tweet yesterday from Patrick Mooney, and I immediately clammed up, knowing there was something fairly bad baked into an otherwise innocuous couple sentences:
Not sure when the Cubs will leave DC, but Jason Heyward bought the NFL jerseys for this theme trip. Joe Maddon is rocking a purple Fran Tarkenton Vikings jersey and optimistic Heyward (hamstring injury) will have enough time to get back this season.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) September 9, 2018
Optimistic that Jason Heyward can get back this season? That’s quite a thing to say about a guy who was purportedly suffering only from a little tightness and whom the Cubs decided – at least publicly – to place on the disabled list only after some additional examinations. Clearly, this was a strain.
Sure enough, as then confirmed by the Tribune, Heyward had indeed suffered a Grade 1 (mild) hamstring strain on that outfield play at the end of August. Unfortunately, like we said at the time, even the mildest strains tend to take guys about a month to come back from, which squares with the Cubs just hoping to get Heyward back by the end of the season (rather than a week or two later).
If Heyward is out for another couple weeks and returns only in time for, say, the final few games of the regular season, it’s going to be tricky for the Cubs to figure out how best to incorporate him into the playoff mix. You want his glove in there as much as possible, and I don’t think that would suffer from the time off, but the bat would need some time to get back into game speed. Maybe Heyward could pull it off with live BP and a couple simulated games, but it’s tough when there aren’t minor league rehab games available.
Even if he is not himself at the plate (whatever that version of Heyward is now), you still want to have that elite glove available, whether for starts or even just late in games.
Keep an eye on this one.