Back on May 21, Cubs reliever Jason Adam, then trying to get his season back on track at Triple-A Iowa, suffered a horrific ankle injury while shagging balls during batting practice. His ankle was dislocated, and the bone went through his skin. It was a bloody mess, and he was worried about his career being over as the ambulance took him to the hospital.
I don’t think anyone who was observing on the outside expected him to pitch again this year, because obviously. The questions were about whether he’d pitch again at all. Ever.
… but not only did he come back in just a few months, he has pitched so well in his rehab that the big league Cubs want to bring him back for a look before the season ends and they have to make another 40-man roster decision! Seriously, that is happening. So freaking wild.
The pre-game roster moves today:
A few Cubs moves prior to today’s double-header: Robinson Chirinos heads to the 10-day IL with a left oblique strain. OF Greg Deichmann recalled from Triple-A. RHP Jason Adam has his contract selected, then optioned to Triple-A, but called up as the 29th man today.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) September 24, 2021
Adam, 30, was struggling with his command earlier this year (after the 2020 breakout, you might recall), and was fading from the radar as a clear contributor in the bullpen this or any future year. So the fact that the Cubs are bringing him back up even after the ankle injury tells me they think he’s *looked* exceptionally good in the minors the last couple weeks (including just two appearances at Iowa). In other words, they want to know if they should keep him on the 40-man this offseason so they don’t lose him on a minor league deal to another organization. That might still happen, and/or it might prove a mistake to use a 40-man spot on him all offseason. But the fact that it’s even a question at this point, given that injury, is just so crazy. Good on Adam, and I’ll be rooting like hell for him.
(Side note: although he’s the extra man for today, I tentatively would guess Adam will be chosen to stick around in the bullpen, depending on how the rest of the day goes. It’s possible he could be optioned right back to Iowa after the night game tonight.)
As for Chirinos, we knew that side injury didn’t look good the other night, and his season is gonna be over. Deichmann, the 26-year-old prospect the Cubs got in the Andrew Chafin deal, is expected to be this kind of up-down guy maybe into next year until/unless he establishes himself as a clear big leaguer. He hasn’t had a TON of developmental time in the minors, though, so you wouldn’t necessarily expect him to break out next year, but you would like to see more productivity than he’s shown so far in the Cubs’ system.