I feel like we keep getting teased with guys being close to returning, but generally, when it’s soft tissue stuff and the guys are back out on the field during pre-game taking fielding, BP, and running drills, they really are close.
That was the case for Anthony Rizzo (back), Jake Marisnick (hamstring), and Jason Heyward (hamstring) today:
Rizzo now getting fielding work in at first base, while Heyward and Marisnick go through batting practice.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 31, 2021
Rizzo is taking ground balls at first base. Jake Marisnick and Jason Heyward taking BP. pic.twitter.com/Yd8OrNz5KM
— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) May 31, 2021
If I had to guess based on the lengths of absences and level of activity, each guy could plausibly be within a day or two of a return, though it’s conceivable that Marisnick and Heyward might hit up a quick rehab assignment first to face some live, in-game pitching. Rizzo probably just returns when he’s ready.
“We’re on the verge of getting some guys healthy,” Cubs manager David Ross said before today’s game, per NBCSC. “Which is the good news on the back end of some bad news.”
You don’t want to put words in Ross’s mouth, but, again, given the work that’s being doing on the field by this trio, it sure seems like he’s hinting at a return in the next couple days. And with all due love to the back-up back-ups who have been filling in, you still want to see the Cubs get their regulars back as soon as possible, especially with the brutal June slate on tap.
Then, maybe we get lucky and guys like Nico Hoerner, Matt Duffy, and David Bote also trickle back onto the roster at various points in June? It’s conceivable.