The Cubs appeared to sidestep an injury scare with shortstop Javy Báez late in Sunday’s game.
But when manager David Ross conspicuously sidestepped otherwise mundane questions about it after the game, that raised the specter of whether Báez might be hurt worse than it looked after appearing to jar his left ankle on the bag while running out a grounder in the eighth.
Báez, whose Cubs future ranges between trade chip by Friday’s deadline or signer of a contract extension before hitting free agency in October, waved off the trainer after falling to the grass on the play, favoring the ankle.
Then he stayed in the game for the final half-inning, even making a sliding catch of a popup for the second out of the inning.
“I think he’s all right. We’ll see tomorrow,” Ross said, appearing to put the issue to rest.
But the unexpected exchange that immediately followed raised eyebrows.
Was it a foot or ankle or something different?
“It was something. It was something down there,” Ross said.
Do you know what it was?
What was it?
“I’ll tell you tomorrow,” Ross said, adding: “We’ll see when we get with the trainers and see exactly where it’s at. I know it was a lower-half injury. Below the knee, I’ll tell you that.”
So it’s either a cracked shin, sore calf, tweaked ankle, stubbed toe or an ingrown toenail.
And everybody knows what that means for a shortstop’s trade value.