No concerns on Javy Báez’s thumb as Cubs work to regain health
NEW YORK — Even though Javy Báez was held out of the lineup for the second straight game Monday, David Ross and the Cubs are confident the right thumb issue won’t linger all season for the star shortstop.
This is a slightly different injury than the one that kept him out of the entire series in San Diego last week. That was more of swelling in the right hand and the base of the thumb due to getting jammed on swings.
This current issue is the knuckle and stems from Báez’s dive into the stands Saturday night when he jammed it down into the concrete.
He wore a brace on that thumb pregame Monday as he took some ground balls at Citi Field and also hit off a tee.
Báez pinch-hit in the 8th inning and grounded out in Monday’s 5-2 loss to the Mets.
“I don’t think it’s something that’s major from what I’m hearing,” Ross said. “More of a bone bruise type thing. But it is the hand. The small areas are always delicate. We’ll see but right now, I don’t have any concerns.
“I wouldn’t doubt if this was a postseason game or a major game in September that he would be in there.”
Ross will be cautious with Báez but the slugger is also anxious to get back in the lineup and hopes to do so over the next couple games in New York.
As for Báez’s boredom, there may not be any cure for that.
“I’ll promise you this — Javy always wants to play,” Ross said. “He wanted to just get up on deck and feel the crowd [Sunday] when Marisnick hit. I was like, ‘get out of here, what are you doing?’ He just wants to be a part of it.
“He’ll come up to me and just tell me he’s bored in the middle of a game. I’m like, ‘I don’t know what to tell you, I’m working right now!’ That’s the fun you get with Javy.”
To cure the boredom, Báez brought a giant bag of popcorn into the Cubs dugout Sunday night and shared with the team.
He saw the popcorn bags on his way into the dugout and swiped one and continued on to his locker. But he didn’t eat it all.
“It was too much,” he said, smiling.
As for Báez’s injured teammates, the Cubs have received a lot of good reports recently.
Matt Duffy (low back) continues to ramp up his activity and was in New York with the team Monday taking grounders. Ross said the veteran may go on a rehab assignment soon.
Nico Hoerner (hamstring) was hitting and throwing Monday. David Bote (shoulder) has also taken some swings and ground balls.
Trevor Williams (appendectomy) is throwing each day and is scheduled to see the doctor later this week to determine if he can ramp up his workload.