More Than Half the Chicago Cubs Roster is Hurt Right Now

For worse or worse, injuries are a part of competitive sports. You can do everything in your power to keep players healthy, the players themselves can do the same, and the league can do the same, but when human bodies are doing difficult, extreme, physical things, they can’t avoid injury forever.

In baseball, you see the full spectrum of injuries, from the types that make it impossible for a player to go, to the types that are clearly limiting a player’s effectiveness, to the types that are minor enough that we may not even call them an “injury,” but we’ll always wonder if they are impacting a player at the margins. For a sport that is played at the margins, it’s that last category that can be the silent career-changer. In other words, a player’s health is a fundamental part of his performance AND development story. It’s almost like any other skill that comes along (or doesn’t), and like so much else in baseball, it can be affected in equal parts by effort/skill and by total randomness/luck.

Take from all that whatever you will. It’s applicable to the main content of this post, but it’s also a much broader, wider discussion. I just figured this was an opportunity to say some things about injuries that I’d been thinking for years.

Which brings me to that main content of this post: holy shit the Cubs are injured.

In a way, I’m almost grateful this wasn’t expected to be a balls out, sell-the-farm-to-win type season, because otherwise I’d be beside myself at literally over half the roster being hurt just one month into the season. I have never seen a team as laid up as the Cubs are right now in terms of sheer volume (I’ve seen much worse in terms of impact on a season, of course).

As a reminder, here’s everyone who would otherwise be on the active roster who is hurt right now …

Adbert Alzolay (right lat strain) – on the 60-day IL, would’ve been in the rotation or a multi-inning arm

David Bote (shoulder surgery) – on the 60-day IL, would’ve been infield depth

Clint Frazier (appendicitis) – on the 10-day IL, was outfield depth and platoon starter

Michael Hermosillo (quad strain) – on the 10-day IL, was outfield depth and platoon starter

Codi Heuer (Tommy John surgery) – on the 60-day IL, was in the mix to close

Nico Hoerner (ankle sprain) – officially day-to-day, but the Cubs will know more today about how long he’ll be out

Nick Madrigal (sore back) – on the 10-day IL, was starting at second base

Alec Mills (sore back, tight quad) – on the 15-day IL, would’ve been in the rotation or a utility arm

Sean Newcomb (ankle sprain) – on the 15-day IL, was pitching in middle innings

Ethan Roberts (shoulder inflammation) – on the 15-day IL, was pitching in middle innings

David Robertson (undesignated) – on the COVID IL, was the closer

Andrelton Simmons (sore shoulder) – on the 10-day IL, would’ve been infield depth

Justin Steele (sore thumb knuckle) – is reportedly good to make his next start, but that day’s starter is still listed as a TBD by the Cubs

Marcus Stroman (undesignated) – on the COVID IL, was in the rotation

Seiya Suzuki (ankle sprain) – has done some pinch-hitting, but hasn’t started since the injury happened on Monday

Brad Wieck (elbow strain) – on the 60-day IL, was an impact arm in the bullpen

SIXTEEN! THERE ARE SIXTEEN HURT CUBS RIGHT NOW WHO OTHERWISE WOULD’VE/COULD’VE BEEN ON THE 26-MAN ROSTER! THIRTEEN OF THEM ARE ACTUALLY ON THE IL! THAT’S 50 PERCENT! I AM TYPING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE THAT IS BONKERS! IF ALL WERE HEALTHY I SUPPOSE SOME COULD BE SQUEEZED OUT, SO YOU CAN KINDA PLAY WITH THE MATH A LITTLE AND YELL AT ME THAT IT’S NOT ACTUALLY 50 PERCENT, BUT IT’S STILL CRAZY!

(And there are three prospects who are on the 40-man who might’ve been contributors now if they’d been healthy (Brailyn Marquez (COVID, shoulder), Miguel Amaya (Tommy John surgery), and Manny Rodriguez (elbow strain).)

We’ll see if any of Suzuki, Hoerner, or Steele wind up on the IL, and hopefully at least Stroman and Robertson can return soon. This is really quite something when you lay it all out.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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