Spring training is a time to evaluate talent, see which players may have taken a step forward or backward, and to see what some of your young prospects can do against some major league talent. The other thing the Spring is known for is injuries, and the number one thing that teams want to come out of spring with is health. The Cubs are not doing that. The troubling news coming out of camp today is that both Scott Baker and Ian Stewart will both start the season on the DL, that’s not so great, and I haven’t even approached the Matt Garza situation yet. We’ll start with Baker, and the news is not good. Baker, who is coming of Tommy John Surgery felt some discomfort in his elbow after his spring debut this weekend, this could be considered normal, but the Cubs wanted an MRI. Baker got an MRI and has now been shut down indefinitely as there is some inflammation and fluid build up in the elbow, so you can throw that mid-April return date out the window. Now on to Ian Stewart, he can’t run, like at all, he can’t do it. You need to be able to run in baseball, I mean, usually you do, and right now Stewart can’t do it because of a quad injury. So what does this mean? Well, the Cubs were prepared to start 2013 without Baker, so they will make do somehow with their increased starting depth, Samardzija, Garza (healthy?), Jackson, Wood, Feldman could be your rotation heading into opening day. As far as third base goes it looks like Brent Lillibridge is now a lock to make the team, and he will back up starting third baseman Luis Valbuena, gently weep if you feel the need to. Here are some quotes today that Brett had up on his site at Bleacher Nation…
Per Carrie Muskat
“Cubs pitcher Scott Baker had a setback, and his throwing program has been suspended indefinitely. Baker felt some discomfort in his right elbow after his first Cactus League start on [Sunday] and underwent an MRI on Monday. The results of the test were not released, and Baker was to be examined by team orthopedic specialist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo this weekend. There’s no timetable for Baker’s return and the extent of the injury is not known.”
Per Paul Sullivan
“I can hit and take grounders,” he said. “I just can’t run.”
Stewart said “it doesn’t feel like” it’s been healing, despite the prolonged rest this spring. Stewart will meet with manager Dale Sveum and the training staff this morning to assess his status.
“I know what it’s like to play through pain,” Stewart said. “That’s what’s hard about this. I can’t get through that pain and play with it. It’s just too much.”
Thanks for reading,