ST. LOUIS — Cubs nation can breathe a sigh of relief for now.
The team announced Javy Baez has a left elbow contusion after taking a 90 mph fastball off it in the third inning of Sunday night's game. He was initially scheduled for an X-ray to make sure there is nothing more sinister at play, but that was deemed not necessary throughout the course of the game and it looks as if the Cubs' dynamic young infielder has avoided serious injury.
"I'm fine. Just really sore," Baez said. "It got me really good right on the elbow. I thought the pain was gonna go away right away but kinda numbed my whole arm. We've been icing it. It feels pretty sore, but right now, I'm good."
Baez said he didn't move his arm for almost an hour after getting hit, but wasn't experiencing any numbness or lack of feeling in his left hand or fingers after the game. He didn't rule out playing in Monday night's homestand opener at Wrigley Field.
Still, this is not what the Cubs wanted to see.
The Cubs entered play Sunday night having gone 24-12 since getting swept out of St. Louis in the first weekend of May. They were feeling good about themselves, starting to get their mojo back and playing more like the team everybody expected.
And then Baez took a fastball off the left elbow.
After a couple minute delay, Baez was led off the field and Addison Russell came in off the bench to replace him at first base.
The 25-year-old is in the midst of a breakout season for the Cubs, sitting 5th in the National League with 46 RBI and on pace for a near 30-30 season (33 homers, 29 stolen bases).
He had slowed a bit (.175 average, .502 OPS in June) but still gives the Cubs so much energy and versatility on a daily basis with his ability to move around the infield and lineup.