Cubs Injuries

A few weeks back, Jorge Soler fouled a ball of his shin...a seemingly common occurrence in baseball that carries little consequence past the few moments of stinging pain for the offending party. This being the Cubs and all, the foul ball sent Soler to the 7-day disabled list of which he returned off of this week. The leg still hurt though and now it's being reported that he has a stress fracture and will be out 4-6 walks and possibly the rest of the season. Oh strike in mysterious ways! Soler will of course miss the Futures Game as well over the All-Star Break, which him and Arismendy Alcantara were named to the World rosters.

Patrick Mooney of CSN is reporting on his twitter account that Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner are both going to the disabled list.

Wells goes down with a forearm strain that no one knew anything about, Cashner's injury is his rotator cuff. I'm sure more details will be forthcoming. Mooney reports neither will throw for 2 weeks with the Cubs being cautious in April and Casey Coleman is sure to be one of the pitchers to join the rotation.

Some updates after the jump...

As we know, Ted Lilly was battling through some shoulder issues through 2009 and still delivered a fantastic season with a 3.10 ERA. It didn't seem like it was too serious and something a little offseason rest may take care of, but instead he went under Dr. Yocum's knife.

Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly underwent a left shoulder arthroscopy and
debridement on Tuesday by noted orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum in
Los Angeles. During the surgery, Yocum found no major damage to Lilly's
shoulder and the procedure consisted of a washout and clean up of the

Maybe the Cubs read TCR afterall...

After Dr. Hecht pleaded with the Cubs to liberally use the DL and get Alfonso Soriano off the field, they announced he's been shut down indefinitely to rest his knee. Piniella says Soriano was agreeable to the decision. Yes, one of the five worst players in baseball this year(with meaningful at-bats), is okay that you sit him. Well phew, I'd hate it if he was upset.

I'd applaud the Cubs for the move if this was July, but now it's just desperation and an offseason talking point.

In roster move news, Bobby Scales has been called up and Derrek Lee is still in Chicago for the birth of their second child. Fuku, Theriot, Bradley, Ramirez, Hoffpauir, Baker, Soto, Fuld and Z are taking on the Mets as we speak.

As expected, Carlos Zambrano will be placed on the disabled list with recurring back spasms. It'll be back-dated to August 2nd though and he could return as soon as August 17th. If he can return by the 17th, it would mean just one start would need to be covered on Wednesday, August 12th versus the Phillies. Jeff Stevens is being recalled to take Z's roster spot, and it appears that Jeff Samardzija is the clubhouse leader to take the start on Wednesday. The Phillies of course feature lefties Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez, but their overall team OPS versus lefties and righties is about the same.

On the flip side, Ted Lilly felt good after a bullpen session and should be back sooner, rather than later. They haven't put a timetable yet on it, but it seems reasonable he could be back within a week.

The Cubs offense opened up another can of whoop-ass on an opposing pitcher, scoring six runs in the first two innings. Z gave two of those runs back and has been replaced in the bottom of the 4th inning by Jeff Samardzija, who promptly gave up a leadoff double(runner since erased on a sac bunt attempt).

Len mentioned something about back stiffness, I'm sure more details will be forthcoming.

UPDATE: It doesn't appear to be too concerning to Z at least and he plans to make his next start..blames it on being a big guy and possibly the hotel bed.

"As the game was going, it was feeling worse and worse, and I saw my
arm dropping," Zambrano said. "Lou told me something that was right. He
said, 'Before you get injured because of your back, let's get you out
of the game.' I knew my release point was low. It was the best choice
to take me out of the game." 

Aramis Ramirez also left the game in the top of the 10th inning. He was hit in the left elbow by a pitch, stayed in and made it to second base and then signaled to the trainers and had to be helped off the field after complaining of dizziness. Lou seemed to indicate he was okay though

I saw the hit by pitch, but walked away and didn't see Ramirez get removed from the game. I did catch the bottom of the 10th and if you missed it, Lou was forced to put Alfonso Soriano at second base, Jeff Baker at third base and Sam Fuld in left field. Even better, he switched Baker and Soriano when the lefty Jeremy Hermida came up to bat, rightfully figuring that the odds were higher that Hermida would pull the ball to second (Hermida K'd eventually). Either way, some fun water cooler talk as the Cubs nearly blew what should have been a laugher.

Reader Osiris flagged this bad news by way of Paul Sullivan in the Tribune:

The Cubs placed Rich Harden on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain on Friday, and inserted Randy Wells into the rotation for Saturday's game.

This will allow the Cubs to activate Carlos Zambrano without having to make another roster move, i.e., demote Wells. Harden felt "a twinge" when he pitched last Sunday against the Astros.

You may vomit as you see fit.

In the bottom of the third inning, on a sharp grounder down the line, Aramis Ramirez fully extended to his right and immediately grabbed his arm. Initally it appeared that maybe he broke his elbow or another bone by his reaction, but the replay showed him immediately grabbing his hand and upper tricep area and nothing really impacted with the ground that would apper to lead to any broken bones. The parachat consensus was a disclocated shoulder and Aramis looked in great amounts of pain.  Screen grabs after the jump...

''His arm action's good; he's throwing free and easy...He's not close to throwing off a mound yet. There's some issues
there, no question.''

No, not a reprint of a 2005 article or 2004 article or 2006 article, but rather Larry Rotschild talking about Rich Harden at the Cubs Convention on Saturday. Don't worry though, the Cubs have the spin ready.

 Cubs insiders say Harden is right on schedule toward a strong, on-time
and well-conditioned start to spring training and the season

Of course they believe that...but what about this?

You may have come across the news that Tyler Colvin had left the Arizona Fall League due to an elbow injury. Supposedly it was something that was troubling him for much of the 2008 season and according to our pals at Inside the Ivy, Colvin did undergo Tommy John Surgery on Sunday. The procedure has become rather common place these days and Colvin should be back for a good portion of the 2009 season although it's likely he'll start out in extended spring training in Arizona before being assigned to a minor league affiliate.

That does take him off as a potential trading chip this offseason, although his .736 OPS in AA probably already took care of that.

UPDATE (5:23 PM CST): Zambrano did see Dr. Gryzlo and was suppose to have an MRI today, but missed his appointment. Odd behavior. The MRI has been rescheduled for tomorrow. Sean Marshall will take his next start on Sunday versus the Reds.

Four game losing streak...unfortunate.

Offense struggling a happens to the best of them.

Carlos Zambrano going to see an orthopedic specialist...holy shit!!

And now Cub fans breathlessly await the results. The season may not hang in the balance but the difference between a dominating playoff rotation versus hopes and prayers does.

If Zambrano has to miss some starts or hit the disabled list for a few weeks, it means Sean Marshall to the rotation. In the short term, that's probably not much of a difference, especially with the way Z has pitched lately. After his last DL trip, Z returned with five starts and a 1.78 ERA before August hit, so maybe a little more rest will do him good. If it ends up being a more serious injury that puts the playoffs in jeopardy, then the Cubs will have to consider starting Jason Marquis in a playoff game and I'll have to consider slitting my wrists.

Bulletin board fodder from Carsten Charles after the jump...

Déjà Vu all over again, Alfonso? For the second time in two years during mid April, Cubs star left fielder Alsonso Soriano injured a leg.

Last year he missed just a week from a mild left hamstring strain on April 16th. He returned to the lineup by April 22nd but was limited in his running as well as his outfield play for a few weeks after that injury.

Here was the immediate reaction to last April's injury on

...his status is day-to-day. The center fielder was injured when he dove trying to catch Clay Hensley's single with one out and a runner at second in the fifth. "I don't like to be hurt," Soriano said. "I like to play every day. We'll see how I feel tomorrow."

This isn't to be confused with his more significant right quadriceps strain last August 6th. I vividly remember seeing Soriano pull up lame after rounding 2nd base against the Mets in the game Tom Glavine got his 300th win. Third base coach Mike Quade helped Alfonso off the field that evening. Soriano returned to action by August 28th.

In last night's game vs the Reds, while making the third out in the top of the 1st inning by catching a flyball from Ken Griffey Jr. and doing his signature hop to make the catch, Soriano once again came up lame. He needed to use CF Felix Pie to limp off the field. In the bottom of the inning he was replaced by Mike Fontenot with Mark DeRosa taking his spot in LF.

Again says (Carrie Muskat must have a macro key for her Word application regarding this stuff. Ironically, when she hits the F7 key, the macro spits out something about being day-to-day):

Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano had to leave Tuesday's game after the top of the first inning with a strained right calf. His status was day-to-day.

This time the preliminary diagnosis is a strained right calf. To recap the anatomy, the quadriceps is the major muscle in the front of the thigh. The hamstrings are the muscles behind the thigh. The larger muscles that make up
the calf are the gastrocnemius which
is more superficial and the deeper soleus which blend together as they go toward
the lower portion of the leg until they connect with the achilles
. They are responsible for pushoff in running activity. Just like
any other muscle injury they are graded by extent of injury, rarely
need surgery and usually take from 2-6 weeks to heal.They shipped Soriano off for an MRI Tuesday night so the results will be available in the morning. Hearing Lou Piniella on the postgame interview, he didn't sound optimistic with the most recent comp injury being Phillie OF Shane Victorino who was put on the 15 day DL the day after his calf strain on Saturday. Matt Murton, Jake Fox or Eric Patterson...please check your answering machines.

It could be worse. The Ides of April ruined the 2006 Season on April 19th when Scott Eyre fielded a Raphael Furcal bunt. The sooner they get this month over with the safer I will feel.

UPDATE: It's official.  Eric Patterson gets the call-up as Fonzie goes on the 15 day DL. Stay tuned for the Patterson brothers reunion deathmatch tonight.

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