Always fun to update the many Cubs injury bits …
Javy Báez – left the game yesterday with what was initially described as a sore thumb, but it is actually the whole area, including the wrist: “Javy, just a little bit of something going on with his wrist, where that ball I think hit him off the end (of the bat), sometimes gives you a little jolt in the hand area,” Ross said, per the Daily Herald. “We’ll check him out, see how he is tomorrow. I guess that would be like a hand contusion or a wrist. Just how that ball came off his bat, it looked like it jolted him pretty good.” I would expect Báez to be sitting tonight regardless, and the question is whether he’s the latest position player to hit the Injured List. Here’s hoping not. When he’s out, it’ll either be Sergio Alcantara or Eric Sogard getting starts at short.
Joc Pederson – bumped the wall this weekend, messed up his back a bit, and sat yesterday. It still doesn’t sound serious, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he sits one more game tonight, especially with a lefty on the mound. And especially if this guy is back:
Jake Marisnick – getting really close to returning from the strained hamstring, and we just have to hope he’s still got his timing. He was looking great when he went down. “We’ll see at the back end of today if he’ll be ready for [Monday],” Ross said before Sunday’s game, per Cubs.com. “It should be soon. I think yesterday went really well. Just talking to [the training staff], he’s in a good place.” If Marisnick does return today, you could see him take Rafael Ortega’s spot and go right into the starting lineup.
Matt Duffy – taking some light swings and doing some light work on the field this weekend, I still don’t have a great sense for when we could see Duffy return from his back injury. Patrick Wisdom’s explosion has obviously made Duffy’s absence must less noticeable, but you do still like the different look he can bring to the lineup.
Alec Mills – no announcement yet officially tabbing him for another start at Iowa, but it would be today or tomorrow if he does. Of note, he’s been fully stretched out over his three outings there, going from 1.2 to 4.0 to 6.0 innings. If he returns in the next week or so (back), you wonder if he’ll get a start, possibly taking Kohl Stewart’s next turn in the rotation as Trevor Williams recovers? Still no date for Williams’ return yet from his appendectomy, or whether he’ll need a rehab outing or two.
Justin Steele – maybe the most frustrating of all the hamstring injuries since it happened to a reliever running the bases, Steele is up to 35 pitches in a bullpen session: “I think it went OK. We’ll have to get the data back. But I think we’ll see how he presents tomorrow,” Ross said, per the Daily Herald. “I think it was a 35-pitch pen. It was very encouraging last time. I think this one was OK. He finished it without any real complications.” Obviously the bullpen has been so good and deep that there wasn’t a need to rush Steele back and I hope the Cubs continue to play it extra cautious with a young arm who looks so dang good.
Nothing much to say right now on Nico Hoerner (hamstring), David Bote (shoulder), Rowan Wick (oblique), Austin Romine (wrist), or Jonathan Holder (shoulder).