The Cubs have had problems all season with player health, and the seventh inning of Wednesday night’s game in Philadelphia was a perfect example of that.
The bottom half of the seventh inning started with John Mayberry Jr. hitting a double down the third base line. Recently acquired outfielder Thomas Neal picked up the ball and quickly threw it to second base. Neal dislocated his right shoulder on the rushed throw.
Two batters later, reliever Matt Guerrier noticed something wrong with his throwing elbow. He finished that at-bat and decided to try to pitch through his injury. But after two walks and a base hit, he informed manager Dale Sveum of what was happening with his arm and left the game. It is probably safe to say that trying to power through the rest of the inning did nothing but worsen his elbow problems.
While Guerrier was trying to finish the seventh inning, Phillies third baseman Michael Young hit a single to right field. Cubs right fielder Cole Gillespie gathered the ball and fired it to home. Catcher Dioner Navarro, who was blocking the plate with his left leg, was drilled by Chase Utley after getting the ball. Navarro held onto the ball during the collision, and Utley was out. But on the play, Navarro’s right leg got caught underneath him, and he was eventually carted off of the field with a right ankle injury.
Neal was playing in just his second game with the Cubs since being claimed off of waivers from the New York Yankees, but he is now on the 15-day disabled list. Right-handed reliever Eduardo Sanchez was called up to fill Neal’s roster spot. Ironically enough, it was Sanchez who was sent down to Triple-A Iowa to make room for Neal on the big league roster.
Guerrier, who was put on the 60-day disabled list, is now reportedly out for the rest of the season with a flexor mass in his right elbow. Guerrier had been pitching well since joining the Cubs in early July, with a 2.13 ERA in 15 games with the team. Guerrier was replaced on the big league roster by catcher J.C. Boscan, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A Iowa. He was brought up to provide extra depth at the catcher position while Navarro recovered from his injury.
As for Navarro, it is being reported that he will rejoin the Cubs today in St. Louis. Manager Dale Sveum said, “They seemed to think he could play [Saturday] in a game, and start and play nine innings by Monday.” That is good news for the Cubs, since they won’t have to put Navarro onto the disabled list.
The Cubs currently have ten players on the disabled list (eleven if you include Navarro being day-to-day). The team has already used 49 different players this year, which is four shy of tying the franchise record of 53 set last year.