Joe Maddon, Cubs players react to Javier Baez's injury diagnosis
|Saturday, September 7, 2019, 6:37 PM- -|
MILWAUKEE — On Saturday afternoon, the news broke that Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez, who has been battling a thumb injury that was initially suffered on a hard slide last weekend, had suffered a hairline fracture to his left thumb. An MRI revealed the extent of the injury, and the fracture could potentially keep Baez out of the lineup for the remainder of the regular season.
Baez is going to see a specialist and undergo an additional examination on Monday in order to determine his injury timeline. For now, Addison Russell will serve as the starting shortstop while Baez is on the shelf, and David Bote will be Russell's backup. Cubs manager Joe Maddon discussed the disheartening injury revelation at Miller Park on Saturday.
“Everybody's got to do their job," Maddon said. "It's not easy. It's no fun without (Baez), but you don't go home. You keep playing, and you look for other people to all of a sudden just maybe rise to the occasion."
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo were rather emotional in the locker room prior to the Cubs' contest against the Milwaukee Brewers. Contreras referred to "Javy" as the heart of the team and discussed how difficult it will be to replace him in the lineup.
"Javy is the heart of this team. He plays for us like his hair is on fire. We're going to miss him a lot. But, like someone said, 'One steps out, and one steps in.'"
As for Rizzo, who was quite subdued while addressing the media, he held out hope that Baez would be able to play through the injury, saying that he would not be surprised "if he just tries to play through it for 20 games." For now, the Cubs will be forced to continue on their stretch without the services of their most well-rounded player.
Rizzo on loss of Baez: pic.twitter.com/mG6KeEwLiQ— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) September 7, 2019
"We definitely have a lot of other good names. It's not like we're just a one-man band. Other guys have to take care of their component of the game. You look for other people to rise to the occasion."