Well, on the one hand, we already assumed Jason Heyward was out for the season. And I’m certainly happy NOT to see Willson Contreras’ name on this particular injury update given that he was not in the lineup. But on the other hand, this is pretty depressing.
Keegan Thompson is done for the year with right-shoulder inflammation, Patrick Wisdom is day-to-day with a wrist injury, and, worst of all, Nico Hoerner could soon be shut down for the season.
Updates from Ross:
• Jason Heyward (concussion) will not play again this year
• Keegan Thompson (right shoulder inflammation) done for season
• Patrick Wisdom (wrist) day to day
• Nico Hoerner (general soreness) still out, Cubs weighing best approach (possible shut down)
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 28, 2021
Working backwards, I was disappointed to see Hoerner out of the lineup today – after an off-day yesterday and having not played since the 24th – and this basically confirms all my fears that it’s not just some extra day of rest. I won’t be surprised at all to learn that he’ll eventually be shut down. For a guy with such little professional experience, and for whom the Cubs may have otherwise hoped to plan around this offseason, missing so much time this season has been an extreme disappointment (and missed opportunity for him, no doubt).
I suppose it makes sense, then, that Jed Hoyer wouldn’t really commit to anything other than including Hoerner in a group of players who could contribute meaningfully next season. There’s no really assurance that he’ll be on the field, let alone productive, given how much time he’s missed with injuries throughout his career.
Patrick Wisdom is another guy who could have used every single at-bat/opportunity he can get this season, though I suspect the Cubs (and we all) pretty much know what he is at this point. Include him in the possible all-around contributor group for next season.
As for Keegan Thompson, well, you never want to see a young pitcher with rotation dreams end a season injured, but I’m not too concerned as of now (at least, absent some other scary diagnosis). Thompson threw 53.1 big league innings this season (plus another 14.2 IP in the minor leagues), which is the highest single-season total of his career. Shut him down, let him know what he needs to work on ahead of Spring Training, and hope he can come back in good shape, ready to compete for a spot at the back of the rotation or the top of the bullpen.