Cubs injury updates: Bryant, Souza, Quintana, Chatwood, Alzolay
David Ross has stressed in the past his desire to rest players when they have minor aches and pains. His belief is that if you try too often to play through slight knocks and injuries, a player can create bad habits and that can lead to negative results.
That’s what he thinks might have been happening with Kris Bryant.
“Yeah, I’ve tried to allude to that,” Ross said before Tuesday’s game against the Cardinals. “Any player, you wanna have some success and get into a rhythm and he just hasn’t been able to get into a rhythm yet this year and with the things he’s been dealing with, I think it’s been tough.”
Bryant tried to play through the wrist pain he suffered last week when he tried to make a diving catch in the outfield against the Indians. But, after Monday’s doubleheader, he finally told Ross and the medical staff that he thought it would be best to take some time off and let it heal.
Bryant received a shot to help with the pain he had been suffering from. He won’t go on the injured list, at least not now, but missed Tuesday’s game and will sit out of Wednesday’s doubleheader.
The Cubs are optimistic for Bryant to return to the lineup Friday for their series opener against the White Sox, but won’t commit to that.
“I’m not gonna say he’ll be back on Friday and then if he’s not feeling well or he feels like it hasn’t bounced back then we’ll take it from there,” Ross said. “The hope is that he would be back Friday, but there’s no way of knowing that till we have those conversations and he picks up a bat and swings and tests it and all those things.”
Steven Souza Jr.
Bryant’s wrist update headlined a busy afternoon of Cubs injury news before Tuesday’s game against the Cardinals.
The Cubs placed outfielder Steven Souza Jr. on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain. To replace him on the roster, the Cubs selected the contract of the versatile Hernán Pérez from the alternate site. Pérez has played every position on the field in his big league career except catcher.
Brad Wieck was transferred to the 45-day injured list after injuring his left meniscus while rehabbing from a right hamstring strain. That created a spot on the Cubs’ 40-man roster for Pérez.
José Quintana continues to inch his way closer and closer to returning to the Cubs roster. The veteran lefty was scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Tuesday and the Cubs are bullish on his return to their roster.
“We wanna get him one more time off the bump before we bring him back,” Ross said.
Tuesday’s bullpen session marks the fourth for Quintana since he returned from the thumb laceration on his throwing hand. That’s in line where the rest of the starters were when they broke from summer camp.
“We’ll have conversations about where things are,” pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. “With [Tyler] Chatwood’s situation and finding out where he’s at and what we want to do moving forward.”
Hottovy said Quintana’s last outing, a 4-inning sim game on Sunday, went well. Hottovy and the Cubs coaching staff liked what they saw from him and Hottovy said the session concentrated more on his mechanics.
“I think he’s feeling better every time out,” Hottovy said. “Really felt like the last outing on Sunday, he was able to focus more on execution and sequencing and the timing of his delivery and a lot less on how his hand feels and all that stuff.”
Chatwood was originally in line to start Monday’s doubleheader but the back issues he was suffering from resurfaced on Sunday and he was placed on the 10-day injured list.
“He was obviously frustrated that he had a little issue creep up and he thought it felt better and the next day it got worse again,” Hottovy said.
Chatwood was seeing a specialist this week to have the back checked out. Time, in a unique sense in a shortened season, is on Chatwood and the Cubs’ side. They have a scheduled off day Thursday and another next Thursday.
“We have 2 off-days in a week, we’re kind of allowed the ability to stretch the rotation out a little bit and give him some time,” Hottovy said. “Hopefully in the next day or so, we’ll have a good indication of where he is.”
The Cubs hope to get Chatwood a bullpen session or simulated game before he takes the mound again in regular season action.
Alzolay possible for Wednesday
Ross and the Cubs know Alec Mills will be starting one of their doubleheader games. Prospect Adbert Alzolay may be in line to start the other game, too.
Alzolay’s name was floated around as a potential, but neither Hottovy nor Ross committed to him as a lock to start.
Alzolay’s status was uncertain because he took a ball off the forearm earlier in the week.
“I think he’s definitely an option,” Hottovy said. “From last report I heard, I think he’s feeling good.”
Alzolay pitched in 4 games in 2019 for the Cubs, going 1-1 with a 7.30 ERA. He is the Cubs’ 7th-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline. He pitched to a 4.41 ERA with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs in 2019, striking out 91 hitters in 65.1 innings of work as a starter.