Steele's Thumb Injury, Rotation Holes, Willy's Willy Check and Other Cubs Bullets

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Steele’s Thumb Injury, Rotation Holes, Willy’s Willy Check and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Turns out that if your strategy for growing grass is just, “Meh, throw down a bunch of seeds at random times and it’s probably fine,” it may not work so well. I knew all the stuff about water and hay and soil and whatever, but I kinda just figured life would find a way 

•   Turns out there was a good reason why those of us watching Justin Steele exit the game last night could not figure out what might’ve happened to his hand (and though thought it might be a blister or some other imperceptible and minor issue): because there was no moment to perceive an injury happening. Steele doesn’t even know how or what happened, but it feels like a jammed or bruised thumb (NBCSC). He got X-rays, which were negative, and it’s now a wait-and-see situation to determine what comes next. It’s a little hard for me to imagine him taking his next start, since he’s not likely to wake up with the thumb feeling better today, which would mean he is probably going to have his routine disrupted. I’ll keep my fingers – not thumbs – crossed, though.

•   Of course, Steele isn’t the only pitcher the Cubs may have lost from the rotation for a short time, as Marcus Stroman hit the undesignated IL yesterday (which essentially means the COVID IL). Without more information, we haven’t the foggiest on how long he’ll be out – could be just a day or two for testing, or it could be that he’s got an active infection and he’ll be out for a while.

•   So, if both pitchers are out for a period of time, even if Wade Miley comes back this week, the Cubs are still going to have to figure out how to fill a start or two. Based on the guys on the 40-man roster, the Cubs are either going to have to call up Mark Leiter Jr. to take a start, or will have to go with multiple bullpen games in a given week. Not ideal. So the alternative, then, is to add someone to the 40-man roster who isn’t already on it, but I’m not sure the Cubs would do that for a short-term issue, especially with Alec Mills potentially also coming back in a week or two. Long story short? The Cubs are probably going to have to get creative with pitchers to fill starts this week, and you might see guys like Robert Gsellman or Adrian Sampson getting “starts.”

•   I still don’t quite know what this was, but it took Max Muncy a couple minutes to, uh, catch his breath:

•   Best I can figure, Willson Contreras was instinctively trying to wrap himself around Muncy to get to the ball quickly – kinda like grabbing a pole and swinging around, and I immediately regret what I’ve just typed.

•   When it goes wrong, it all goes wrong:

•   It was bound to happen eventually, and Nico Hoerner has really been good at shortstop. He was just trying to make a play and got eaten up by a bounce in the process.

•   I guess Willson Contreras wasn’t certain the Dodgers weren’t peeking at his PitchCom pad:

•   Craig Kimbrel and Nick Madrigal met for the first time since they were traded for each other last year:

•   I joke, but it’s worth noting that, while his time with the White Sox was brutal (thanks primarily to misuse), Kimbrel has a 1.17 ERA so far for the Dodgers. The bizarre thing, though? He’s not striking anybody out. His 22.6% K rate is not only just half his usual mark, it’s also slightly BELOW league average. He’s getting a bonkers volume of groundballs, though, which has never been his thing, and I wonder if it’s a small sample fluke, or if the Dodgers are trying to unlock something, as they so often do.

•   Skin care, scooters, tiki torches, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad

•   He said he wanted to be Seiya Suzuki’s best friend, so he got the Obvious Shirt to make it law:

•   History on this date:

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.