Belly of the Beast

I'm holding my breath (and have turned a nice shade of Cub Blue at this point). Big Z tweaked his left hamstring in the 5th inning after successfully bunting for a hit. It was a key to the Cubs 6-4 win over the Marlins as DLee whacked a grand slam homerun  to break a 2-2 deadlock. The Cubs have been hit hard with pulled stuff...hamstrings, calves, groins all of which are in this grey zone of injury where they've not disabled listed anyone so far. The roster is running on empty to the point that they've had to use Koyie Hill as the backup-backup third baseman, Zambrano as the first pinch hitter off the bench and now Rich Harden gets told to put on his spikes to pinch run for Z.

We'll find out today the results of Zambrano's MRI but from the usual sources covering the Cubs, manager Lou Piniella was quoted as saying the injury was in the belly of the hamstring. This means muscle belly rather than the tendon which is where muscles attach to bone. Proximally hamstring muscles attach to the pelvis (ischium). If the MRI picks up on enough  muscle injury expect the first DL stint of the season but a grade I injury can be better in 2-4 weeks. If the MRI doesn't pick up much injury he may just miss a start.

 Carrie Muskat/mlb.com quotes:

"I tried to initially [take Zambrano out], but he told me that it
was more of a cramp than anything else," Piniella said. "After a pitch,
he realized it was more than that. I tried to get him out initially,
and he talked me out of it.

Zambrano then slowly walked back to the dugout. The problem is in the "belly" of the (left) hamstring, Piniella said.

Toni Ginnetti/Sun-Times quotes:

At first he tried to convince trainer Mark O'Neal and Piniella it was
only a cramp. After one pitch to the next batter, Alfonso Soriano, ''he
realized it was more,'' Piniella said. ''We did the right thing by
getting him out.''

Zambrano's next scheduled start is Friday in Milwaukee.

''I'd say it's in jeopardy,'' Piniella said. ''And if I had to
guess, I'd say no. We'll see. I'd guess we'd have to do something to
bring up a starter, but let him get his [MRI].''

 

Comments

If zambrano goes on disabled list here is what i would do

1. bring up scales.
2. sit ramirez a few more days.
3. send scales down on friday
4. bring up pitcher from iowa

Agreed.

It has got to be hard for Lou with such a short bench. I know the Cubs think some of these players are close to getting back, but while it sucks, I am all for just DLing the guys who can't play full time and make sure they are 100%. The bring up position players to fill in so to not have starting pitchers PH or PR. It is not like these guys have stubbed their toe. They have tweaked hammy's, groins shoulder, etc.

Again, IMO, the key this early is to get healthy ASAP. The faster they do that, the faster they can get rolling and catch the Red birds.

I think we are starting to see everyone get healthy. Word has it that Ramirez may be back today. If Z only misses one or two starts, once he comes back providing no one else gets hurt the team is about as healthy as it can be.

They are fortunate to be where they are, played terrible for a few weeks and still only find themselves 3.5 games behind the Cardinals who have got off to a red hot start.

Agreed Manny....tired of pitchers pinch-hittng..running...etc...

Disagree. Most of these guys were two way players and the best hitters on their HS teams, and many their university teams as well. Wrapping professional athletes in bubble wrap isn't going to solve the teams' problems. Neither is having Bobby Scales on the roster for 15 days.

bobby scales is a K machine that's 90 years old and not a very good IF'r...meh.

Sit them now or sit them much longer at a later date. We've seen that you don't mess with Ramirez when it comes to his injuries, and having Z come back one start too soon could also lead to more problems in the future - take your lumps now, before it's too late.

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  • In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.

    johann 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?

    Old and Blue 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • 34-14...awww yeah.

    crunch 2 hours 38 min ago view
  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 4 hours 33 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 29 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 31 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 41 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 8 hours 24 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 13 hours 9 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 13 hours 10 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 22 hours 52 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 1 day 2 hours ago view