Cubs Injury Updates: Bryant and Báez Both Seem to Be in That Day-to-Day Range

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Cubs Injury Updates: Bryant and Báez Both Seem to Be in That Day-to-Day Range

Chicago Cubs

A couple first-thing updates this morning on the injury issues that popped up just before and during the game last night.

On Kris Bryant, who left the game after the third inning, David Ross didn’t seem especially concerned after the game. Things improved over the course of treatment, and it’s just day-to-day for now:

While I don’t think David Ross and the training staff, specifically, would be instituting a massive PULL-HIM-EARLY campaign on their own, I do think it has been communicated in some way by the front office that an abundance of caution this month is necessary. We’re all big boys and girls and we can be honest that, regardless of whether the Cubs actually do trade Bryant (or others), they will certainly want that option as this month goes on. And that means keeping him (and others) as healthy as possible. So if he starts to feel a little something or you notice him out there doing anything at all funky, you have to pull him so that hammy tightness doesn’t become a full-on strain that costs him a month or more. Hopefully that’s what happened last night.

Also, for what it’s worth, Evan Altman tweeted this late in the game, and he often has some good insight to offer from the Bryant family:

From where I sit, even if Bryant stayed out through the All-Star break, this wouldn’t have an impact on his trade situation so long as he showed he was fine in the week(s) after the break. Teams out there know the Cubs are going to be overly cautious. That said, any time anything physical pops up, they are going to want to see the guy back out there and looking normal for a stretch before they would accept that the situation is back to a baseline, without any elevated risk of inadvertently acquiring a health pumpkin. (By that I mean an already-existing injury that gets worse, not any general injury-related concerns, which will vary among players, and yes, Bryant has played (poorly) through various injuries before, so that will be a consideration for teams no matter what. Then again, it’s all the more reason that they’ll want to know he’s healthy this month.)

Then you’ve got Javy Báez, who was a very late scratch with a jammed thumb, presumably the same on-and-off thumb issue he’s been dealing with for most of this season. Apparently it recurred at some point during his huge game against the Phillies on Tuesday, but he was available off the bench last night.

Ah, but we’ve heard that before from David Ross! So how available was Báez actually? Tough to get a clue from the game, because there wasn’t a spot where it was crazy to not have used an available Báez off the bench: Patrick Wisdom replaced Kris Bryant at third base, which is normal and fine. The first pinch-hit spot came with a guy on second and two outs in the 6th (Cubs up 5-3), and Ross went with Ian Happ against the righty. The second pinch-hit spot came with two outs and nobody on in the 8th and the Cubs already up 8-3, so Ross went with Jake Marisnick. None of those three moves really tell you anything about whether Báez was truly available or not.

Báez was up on the top step all night, engaged in the game as usual, and it just kinda feels like it’s an ongoing situation that is being managed – he has been scratched late multiple times. He’s been able to play through it, but what you don’t want to find out is that his recent hot streak was tied, in part, to his thumb finally feeling better (after maybe feeling not-so-great for his terrible June?). And then it got bonked again, and he’s back to square one. We don’t have any official word from the Cubs on anything like that, but we’ll see if he gets another day off.

I tend to think Báez is less likely to be traded than Bryant, both because he would project to be slightly less of an impact acquisition (and thus the price tag might not get to a point to justify a trade), and also because it feels like there’s more of a chance of finding a middle ground on an extension/new contract after the season. Nevertheless, as with Bryant, you just want to make sure you at least have the OPTION of a trade. Because who knows. Maybe internally the Cubs already know there’s no way they will get to the level on a contract that Báez is thinking. Or maybe some team gets particularly desperate for a shortstop later this month and overpays. On and on. You just want to have options.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.