Daryle Ward (and maybe Micah Hoffpauir) gets a shot

It looks like a DL stint
is in the Wardosaurus' future. The Cubs premier bat off the bench
apparently injured his low back when he took a tumble at first base
during spring training and it just kept hurting. This makes more sense regarding his slow start as he was
0-14 as a pinch hitter until his recent run of three game changing
pinch hits.

His back pain persisted so an MRI yesterday was obtained and diagnosed a herniated disc.
He's agreed to get an epidural cortisone injection to treat this. The
treatment means a few days of rest (ie. no baseball activities) and so
expect another Iowa callup, most likely power hitting lefty 1B-OF Micah Hoffpauir.

The lumbar spine has 5 bony segments or vertebrae connected by discs
which are made of fibrous tissue (the annulus fibrosis) filled by
softer gel like material (tha nucleus pulposus). When a disc herniates,
the fibrous tissue usually tears and the gel like center of the disc
pushes through the tear in the annulus, leading to pressure on
the nerve tissue nearby. Disc herniations
occur most frequently at the two lowest levels labeled by their
vertebral segments (L4-5 and L5-S1, after the 5th lumbar segment is the

Treatment is based on the severity and the pattern of
pain. The term radicular is used if a nerve root is pinched and produces pain
or numbness that radiates down the leg (also generically called
sciatica, after the sciatic nerve which is formed from the most common nerve roots
involved in disc herniations at these levels) and if the nerve roots that are pinched control a muscle, weakness such as a dropfoot can occur. If the pain doesn't radiate into the leg (non-radicular) it's only lower back pain that results.

Since they want the speediest of recoveries, it appears they are going to give D. Ward an epidural steroid injection (cortisone shot, aka ESI). The epidural space
is the anatomic space just outside of the sac where all the nerve roots
are contained (the dura). Putting cortisone there theoretically works
on the inflammation/swelling produced by the disc herniation and if it
works, which it certainly can, should relieve the pain. It probably won't
get rid of the herniated disc but it's the symptoms that count as not
all disc herniations cause back or leg pain.

Of course there
are other treatments that will be used to treat this including the
usual non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and specific back
related exercises particularly strengthening abdominal muscles but the
acute flare up needs to be addressed first and this involves a few days
of rest. If there is no leg pain or weakness, it's unlikely that surgery will be involved.

Here's to a speedy return for a professional hitter.

(drop) footnote: Micah Hoffpauir was 2-4 last night for Iowa including a 3 run HR and 5 rbi's. If you hear a knocking sound out there Micah, it's Mr. Opportunity.




obviously they could just give Edmonds his roster spot, but they should probably bring up Hoffpauir and send Pie down.

Hendry last night did announce that Pie was sent to Iowa, stating that he will join the I-Cubs in Round Rock on Friday. I'm not sure what the protocol is to reverse that but I think Lou's more likely to use Hoffpauir off the bench to pinch hit than Pie at this point.

From the Muskrat:

Fukudome, by the way, went 3-for-5 with a double, and scored two runs. He may be moving up in the order to No. 2 with the addition of left-handed-hitting outfielder Jim Edmonds, who is expected to make his Cubs debut on Thursday. That will be Thursday's headline.


I really like the idea of Fuku in the 2 spot and The Sotomizer in the 5-hole (sorry couldn't resist). Hopefully Edmonds will go on a 5 month vengeance spree and I will be able to not completely hate his fucking guts.

annulus - giggle

Sacrum - double giggle

I hated Rodman's guts. Red Sox fans hate Johnny Damon.

I'm gonna hate his guts much more if he completely sucks.

Re: epidural, my older borther had one a couple months ago. While it worked as a pain relief for abt. 60 days, I was with him at the rainy 4-3 loss and he said the pain has returned.

Maybe Ward will have to see Reed's PT?

I take pleasure in the fact that Redbirds fans are disappointed. I hope the hook is as quick as it was for Pie.

ESPN AM-1000 saying Fukudome bats 2nd, Soto 5th, Edmonds 6th, Theriot 8th.

I like it. Theriot was born to bat 8th. Now if only Ronnie Cedeno can bat 8th instead. Then we might have something here.

hits 8th, the counter productivity of that is so awe-inspring. Theriot should either be hitting leadoff or 9th to act as a second leadoff guy.

While I like this lineup on paper, the superstitious part of me thinks, "We have the best offense in the MLB - why screw with it?!"

Edmonds in CF as a Cub reminds me of watching Jim McMahon as a Packer.

Felt very Weird and definitely uncomfortable.

How about Steve McMichael as a Packer?


The lineup with Edmonds is very tricky. I am all for moving Fuku up because he is showing more to be an on base guy versus an rbi guy. However, Theriot has done everything asked of him in the #2 hole and deserves to stay there for now. My lineup would be:


If Soriano stays in one spot, I would do the same lineup with everyone moved down one spot. Fuku would be #3.

Most likely will be as Cubster mentions.

now Waddle/Carmen on ESPN-1000 say Theriot will still be hitting #2, Fukudome #5, Edmonds #6...I don't get that as it puts two lefty's back to back.

Wouldn't this be the time to have the pitcher finally bat 8th - seeing as Dempster is not a decent hitter like Marquis or Z?

Gives Sori a chance to drive someone in...

Stubborn Lou!

I'm curious as to if anyone has watched Josh Kroeger in the outfield at Iowa. How's his defense? He's gotten hot and is now pasting righties for a .326/.381/.537 line. He's over two years younger than Hoffpauir, has played a lot more outfield, and just seems to be a more rounded hitter. Any comments?

ESPN radio/Bruce Levine says D. Ward will be available to pinch hit today so if he's getting an ESI it won't be today.

Daryle Ward showed up for spring training with his back in such bad shape he couldn't even work out in February and he didn't play until the second week of ST.

His collision with Mark Redman happened on March 22 and while there's no doubt it aggravated things it isn't the cause of his back problem.

Re Josh Kroeger--

I've been interested in Kroeger since he hit .380 in half a season in Double-A last year.

The Cubs--I mean, Piniella--got a peek at him in spring training, where Kroeger got six hits in 21 at bats. Hoffpauir, meanwhile, got 62 turns at bat and put up numbers that were ridiculous. Hoffpauir also had a good spring the year before. So Lou definitely thinks of Hoffpauir first when he thinks of lefty power bats in the organization.

Besides, they got Edmonds, so they're looking to replace Ward as a backup first baseman, not outfielder.

Soriano CF
Theriot SS
Lee 1B
ARam 3B
Fukudome RF
Edmonds CF
Cedeno 2B
Blanco C
Dempster P


from Friday's sun-times:

Manager Lou Piniella confirmed a Sun-Times report that Daryle Ward will go on the disabled list after the game Sunday because of a bulging disc. The Cubs are expected to promote lefty-swinging Micah Hoffpauir from Class AAA Iowa. Hoffpauir, who plays first base, has been getting extra outfield work.


Why wait until Sunday if Ward is having the problems now? Will he be available to pinch-hit (ably) this weekend?

DWard was available on the bench yesterday, so I expect the same is true through the weekend. Basically the epidural steroid injection was probably scheduled electively for monday.

The MRI made the diagnosis (basically it just shows the anatomy) but the symptoms are somewhat chronic so it's not treated like an acute injury. They just don't do epidural injections for pain on an acute/urgent basis. Now if he's pregnant and the baby's on the way they'll put the epidural in pronto (sans steroid).

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.

    But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.

  • Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!

  • Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.

    Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.

  • Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.

  • Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories. 

    And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around! 

  • CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!

    I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.

  • You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.

  • Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.

  • My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!

  • Bryant: Base running adventures.

  • Remember Bryant's home-away splits, too.

    Wrigley: 21 HR, 59 RBI, .311/.408/.629
    Road: 5 HR, 40 RBI, .243/.333/.360

  • Good Lord this season has flown by so far. I need more Cubs gifs--the four on the MLB.com article today are not enough. I need a 100 best moments of the season listicle of gifs.
    Rizzo: The slide, the catch.
    Russell: All the defense.
    Bryant: Pelting the video board.
    Soler: 125 MPH ground balls.
    Schwarber: DINGERS, surprising LF catches.
    Fowler: Walks, the many walks he should have had on 3-2 BS strike calls.
    Baez: That 3B play.
    Ross: Walk-up music? Bullpen appearance?
    Denorfia: Walk-off.
    Castro: Walk-offs.

  • No evidence other than 8 hits and 0 HR in 45 AB....

    I just think hitters like their routines -- think Boggs or Ted Williams -- and messing with that routine adds an element of change. I want my best hitters in their normal routines.

  • evidently i was busy burying context and meaning.

    i was excited about this playoff season kicking up in the drama of that environment, but it was stated insanely muddled.

  • Woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep in excitement/anticipation. Go Cubs Go!