Cubs

Kris Bryant’s sprained ankle is more bad news for Cubs: ‘You can’t cry about it’

Kris Bryant’s sprained ankle is more bad news for Cubs: ‘You can’t cry about it’

WASHINGTON – On a surreal day that already saw the Cubs dump veteran catcher Miguel Montero and visit Donald Trump’s White House, Kris Bryant hobbled off the field on Wednesday night with his arms wrapped around the shoulders of two athletic trainers.

At a time when the season already felt like it could be teetering on the brink of a collapse, the Cubs watched Bryant track a Matt Wieters pop-up in the fifth inning and twist his right ankle as he caught the ball and awkwardly stepped on third base at Nationals Park.

The X-rays came back negative for the National League’s reigning MVP, the Cubs describing it as a mild-to-moderate sprain after an 8-4 loss dropped them back to the .500 mark almost halfway through the season. It’s unclear whether or not this will land Bryant on the disabled list.

“I grew up in the minor leagues, man,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Things happen and you have to fix them when things happen. You don’t cry. Of course, suboptimal, no question. But when you come up – A-ball manager, Double-A manager – stuff happens and you got to react.

“You can’t worry about it. You can’t cry about it. We got a game to win tomorrow. He will not be starting, obviously, so we’ll try to figure it out in another way.”

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Bryant is an All-Star third baseman with 16 home runs this year but he fills so many holes – all over the outfield and as a backup first baseman and an excellent baserunner – for a team that already has World Series MVP Ben Zobrist, Gold Glove outfielder Jason Heyward and Cy Young Award finalist Kyle Hendricks on the disabled list.

Zobrist (left wrist inflammation) will be with Double-A Tennessee on Thursday to begin his rehab assignment. The Cubs could mix and match with Javier Baez, Tommy La Stella and Jeimer Candelario. But there is no replacing such a unique talent like Bryant in the lineup and all over the field.

“It’s unfortunate,” Maddon said. “Hopefully, it’s just going to be a couple days. The way I look at it is get him off his feet literally for a couple days. And I still believe it’s going to benefit us in August and September. So whatever, let’s just keep moving it forward. Hopefully, it’s not too bad.”

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu have to be kidding me (Sorry, couldn't resist). 

The Cubs were expecting Sunday's rehab start to be the beginning to an end of what has been an extremely disappointing 2018 season for their $126 million man Yu Darvish. Darvish was scheduled to start Sunday for the Cubs single-A affiliate in South Bend, IN, but after just one inning Darvish was checked on by the trainers and eventually pulled before the 2nd inning started. 

According to Steve Greenberg, Darvish asked for an MRI on Monday which likely closes the door on him returning to the Cubs in 2018.

The frustrating thing about Darvish's rehab is that in his two rehab starts, the 32-year-old pitcher has had excellent stuff, touching 95 mph in Sunday afternoon's game before being pulled. 

At this point in the season, it seems unlikely Darvish will be able to return to the Cubs rotation for the regular season. And it would be incredibly risky to roll with Darvish in the playoffs, who even when healthy hasn't shown he's deserving of a postseason roster spot. The Cubs do have options at starter in the minors like Duane Underwood or James Norwood, and despite his shortcomings, Tyler Chatwood is an option out of necessity now.  

Drew Smyly, who looked like a possibility as a late-season addition, is still not quite ready to come back and be an effective rotation piece at the moment. And with Mike Montgomery heading to the disabled list earlier this week, the Cubs were hopeful Darvish would be healthy by the time rosters expand in September. 

Luckily, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, and Kyle Hendricks have all looked stellar recently and hopefully can continue their success on the mound as the Cubs continue to fight past injuries to maintain their grasp on the NL Central. 

But Theo Epstein said himself last week that if Darvish didn't perform well during his rehab stint, that was essentially his 2018 season. Don't expect to see Darvish returning to the mound until 2019, Cubs fans. 

 

 

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 48th homer of the season came off of the St. Louis Cardinals on August 19, 1998, in a 6-8 loss.

With two-outs, Sosa sent a deep shot off of Kent Bottenfield.

The home run was even more special for Sosa, due to it coming against the Cardinals and Mark McGwire, his home run adversary for the year. 

In the game Sosa went 2-for-4 with two RBI, the exact same stat line McGwire finished with.