Belly of the Beast

I'm holding my breath (and have turned a nice shade of Cub Blue at this point). Big Z tweaked his left hamstring in the 5th inning after successfully bunting for a hit. It was a key to the Cubs 6-4 win over the Marlins as DLee whacked a grand slam homerun  to break a 2-2 deadlock. The Cubs have been hit hard with pulled stuff...hamstrings, calves, groins all of which are in this grey zone of injury where they've not disabled listed anyone so far. The roster is running on empty to the point that they've had to use Koyie Hill as the backup-backup third baseman, Zambrano as the first pinch hitter off the bench and now Rich Harden gets told to put on his spikes to pinch run for Z.

We'll find out today the results of Zambrano's MRI but from the usual sources covering the Cubs, manager Lou Piniella was quoted as saying the injury was in the belly of the hamstring. This means muscle belly rather than the tendon which is where muscles attach to bone. Proximally hamstring muscles attach to the pelvis (ischium). If the MRI picks up on enough  muscle injury expect the first DL stint of the season but a grade I injury can be better in 2-4 weeks. If the MRI doesn't pick up much injury he may just miss a start.

 Carrie Muskat/mlb.com quotes:

"I tried to initially [take Zambrano out], but he told me that it
was more of a cramp than anything else," Piniella said. "After a pitch,
he realized it was more than that. I tried to get him out initially,
and he talked me out of it.

Zambrano then slowly walked back to the dugout. The problem is in the "belly" of the (left) hamstring, Piniella said.

Toni Ginnetti/Sun-Times quotes:

At first he tried to convince trainer Mark O'Neal and Piniella it was
only a cramp. After one pitch to the next batter, Alfonso Soriano, ''he
realized it was more,'' Piniella said. ''We did the right thing by
getting him out.''

Zambrano's next scheduled start is Friday in Milwaukee.

''I'd say it's in jeopardy,'' Piniella said. ''And if I had to
guess, I'd say no. We'll see. I'd guess we'd have to do something to
bring up a starter, but let him get his [MRI].''

 

Comments

If zambrano goes on disabled list here is what i would do

1. bring up scales.
2. sit ramirez a few more days.
3. send scales down on friday
4. bring up pitcher from iowa

Agreed.

It has got to be hard for Lou with such a short bench. I know the Cubs think some of these players are close to getting back, but while it sucks, I am all for just DLing the guys who can't play full time and make sure they are 100%. The bring up position players to fill in so to not have starting pitchers PH or PR. It is not like these guys have stubbed their toe. They have tweaked hammy's, groins shoulder, etc.

Again, IMO, the key this early is to get healthy ASAP. The faster they do that, the faster they can get rolling and catch the Red birds.

I think we are starting to see everyone get healthy. Word has it that Ramirez may be back today. If Z only misses one or two starts, once he comes back providing no one else gets hurt the team is about as healthy as it can be.

They are fortunate to be where they are, played terrible for a few weeks and still only find themselves 3.5 games behind the Cardinals who have got off to a red hot start.

Agreed Manny....tired of pitchers pinch-hittng..running...etc...

Disagree. Most of these guys were two way players and the best hitters on their HS teams, and many their university teams as well. Wrapping professional athletes in bubble wrap isn't going to solve the teams' problems. Neither is having Bobby Scales on the roster for 15 days.

bobby scales is a K machine that's 90 years old and not a very good IF'r...meh.

Sit them now or sit them much longer at a later date. We've seen that you don't mess with Ramirez when it comes to his injuries, and having Z come back one start too soon could also lead to more problems in the future - take your lumps now, before it's too late.

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  • His control is still off with a lot of overthrowing of his fastball. Mariners haven't been able to take advantage of it so far but it still doesn't seen like he's had a start this year where his mechanics have been great start to finish.

    johann 1 sec ago view
  • Why is that disconcerting, OB?

    Charlie 7 min 39 sec ago view
  • He was a big key to the crazy start, a big key to the end of last year, a big key in not beating the Mets (although lots of help from a tired inexperienced team there), so although the team as a whole can get through a series with a good Jake it will be tough with a bad Jake. I don't think it's realistic to have the insanely great Jake again, but maybe it is. Seeing today's box score it appears maybe it is - but I haven't been able to tune in yet.

    Old and Blue 21 min 8 sec ago view
  • IMO Jake is really the key to winning the World Series, but maybe I'm putting too much emphasis on one player.

    Rob Richardson 52 min 14 sec ago view
  • The reports that they offered EITHER Jimenez or Torres for Chapman are a little disconcerting. I hope 1) Those reports are wrong, and 2) if they are not wrong, that they will hold on to him, as the team could use the outfield depth. I have only seen him in the futures game, but he looks like a keeper.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 14 min ago view
  • Very nice. I saw him in Lansing in May. I'm still stunned that he hit a 400-foot foul ball onto Larch Street ... which is going the other way for a right-handed batter. It was perhaps the most amazing swing I've ever seen a minor league player take. I should also mention that it was about 40 degrees out at the time. Not that it's evidence of anything per se, but I feel his plate approach is way more advanced than Soler was at this stage in his development and that the comparisons aren't really fair to Jimenez. 50/50 chance I'll go to Midland tonight for the low-A debut of Oscar de la Cruz.

    John Beasley 3 hours 3 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez grand slam tonight. Hoping Soler power returns and gets hot but future looks bright in the outfield regardless.

    Finished the night 4-5, with two doubles - 32(!) on the season - along with the grand slam. Sick

    Eric S 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • Meanwhile, out West:

    SF is 2-11 since the break, lead over LA is down to one game, and they are running out Cain and Peavy this weekend against the Nats. Challenging times by the Bay.

    billybucks 5 hours 12 min ago view
  • Thanks for the updates Phil. Too bad about Frazier.

    Hagsag 9 hours 7 min ago view
  • The Cubs have released RHRP Scott Frazier (2013 7th round dfraft pick - Pepperdine).

    A Cubs pitching coach told me in Spring Training 2014 that he thought Frazier had the best pure stuff in the organization. Absolutely electric fastball & breaking ball combo. Other pitchers would gather behind the screen just to watch him throw "live" BP. That's how amazing he was. 

    Arizona Phil 14 hours 16 min ago view
  • Got a chance to see Diamondbacks RHSP Zack Greinke (15-day DL - strained oblique) throw a rehab start at Sloan Park Friday night. Four of the first seven AZL Cubs hitters singled and the Cubs did score an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st inning, but then Greinke got serious and struck out five in a row.

    ZACK GREINKE: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 4/0 GO/AO, 49 pitches (34 strikes)

    Arizona Phil 14 hours 30 min ago view
  • Have fun - It may be good for Arrieta to be facing a team that doesn't know him as well as the NL teams. A nice shutout would do wonders for his confidence. He is confident in public but baseball is hard and he could use a boost, I'm sure.

    Old and Blue 19 hours 22 min ago view
  • Me too. I'll be at the game tomorrow and would love to see Good Arrieta.

    Brick 19 hours 46 min ago view
  • Last few games have been the April version of the Cubs that disappeared completely the past two months.
    Hope they can sustain it.

    blockhead25 20 hours 13 min ago view
  • Don't sell yourself short, Judge.

    Jackstraw 20 hours 40 min ago view
  • I love this team.

    Looks like Mother Nature is trying to call this fight.

    Rob Richardson 22 hours 8 min ago view