Cubs skipper Joe Maddon provided updates on an important trio of players today, with MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian among those covering the news. (Links to his Twitter account unless otherwise noted.)
- Star infielder Javier Baez is going to undergo an MRI on his thumb tomorrow. There’s still no cause for alarm, but it’s certainly suboptimal to hear that he’s not recovering promptly after getting three games off. Initial x-rays came back negative, but the club is obviously interested in making sure there isn’t some other injury lurking in the digit. Deep as the Cubbies are in position players, Baez — who owns a .281/.316/.532 slash line with 29 home runs on the year — is all but irreplaceable. Baez certainly won’t be in the lineup until Sunday, at the earliest. The organization’s hope is that it won’t be long thereafter before he’s ready to return. Obviously, a significant injury would be devastating at this time of year.
- Issues in or near the elbow are always a red flag for a pitcher, so it was at least somewhat worrisome to learn that righty Yu Darvish has experienced forearm tightness of late. But it seem he isn’t terribly concerned about it, having already managed things since early July — and thrived over that same span. The veteran says he won’t need to miss any further action after being skipped in his last scheduled start. He’ll pitch tomorrow. Maddon said Darvish looked great in his latest pen session and is “ready to roll,” as Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
- Speaking of ailments in the elbow region, the Cubs were holding their breath when closer Craig Kimbrel went in for an MRI. He says that the results were quite promising and that he hopes to be ready to return when first eligible on Thursday. That said, the veteran hurler hasn’t yet resumed throwing after spending some time on ice to let his inflammation subside. As he acknowledged, the precise course of action will depend upon how it goes once he does get back on the bump.