Get ready for more #JavyTime at shortstop.
The Cubs moved Addison Russell to the disabled list Friday morning with a right foot strain while Javy Baez drew his second straight start.
Baez will man shortstop in the short term while Russell gets healthy. In addition to Baez's baseball intelligence and instincts, this is also exactly why Joe Maddon doesn't want the Cubs to get rid of the young infielder: Shortstop insurance. Baez is really the only other guy besides Russell the Cubs have faith in running out at shortstop on a regular basis.
Russell has been hampered by an issue with his throwing shoulder this season, but Maddon said that is not a factor any longer and the Cubs just want Russell to get healthy for the stretch run as the Cubs have looked more and more like a playoff team of late.
The Cubs hope to be playing deep into October (or even possibly November) again this fall, so no need to push a guy now, in the first week of August.
"It's been bothering him the last few days," Maddon said. "I wasn't aware of it prior to that. It's been going and he's probably kept it kinda quiet. I don't even know if it impacted those last couple throws that he made. We just thought it was wise to get it settled down right now."
Russell has had a couple throws come up short on him over the last few days, notching errors on Tuesday and Wednesday before sitting out Thursday's contest.
The Cubs ran tests on the foot and don't see any thing more sinister going on beyond a strain.
After a rough couple months to begin 2017, Russell has turned things around and helped turn the Cubs' season around in the process. He's hitting .306 since the All-Star Break with a .903 OPS, seven doubles, three homers and seven RBI.
His resurgence actually started earlier than that, as he's hit .288 with an .828 OPS since June 17.
The Cubs called up left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny Friday in an effort to add more bullpen help against Washington's Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy as the current trio of southpaws — Mike Montgomery, Justin Wilson, Brian Duensing — have all been used a lot lately.
That leaves the Cubs with only three bench players Friday — Alex Avila, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. — though that figures to change over the weekend when the Cubs can send Zastryzny back down and call up Tommy La Stella or another infielder.